The other day, a child showed up at my door and asked if he can play with the boys. The boys had just been outside playing on their scooters, so he must have seen them outside. But I had just called them in so I told the child that Finn, who apparently knew the boy from school, would be home the next day if he’d like to try to catch him outside then.
The next day, while Finn is in the living room playing Wii and while I am in the kitchen on the computer, I hear the storm door shut, I hear hushed voices and I hear a voice I don’t know say, “Are you sure it’s OK?”
I enter the living room and the kid from the day before is there with Finn. He apparently showed up at the front door on his scooter and Finn asked him in and play Wii. This is the first time we’ve had to deal with neighborhood kids dropping by like this so I don’t really fault Finn for not knowing that he should’ve asked me first. I greet the kid from down the street and tell Finn it’s OK for him to play Wii but that next time he should ask me first.
I ask the kid if his mom knows where he is, to which he says yes. Now, I have no idea who his mom is or which house is his so I can’t actually check. I’m trusting that this 7-year-old had permission to leave his house, to ride his scooter to our house, and to go inside our house and that some mom or dad isn’t down the street somewhere panicked, calling his name over and over while thinking the worst.
That’s totally what I would be doing if Finn was outside playing on his scooter and suddenly disappeared. 9-1-1 would have been called and the Amber Alert system activated. I don’t let Finn go to the house of people I haven’t met, and even if I have met them he doesn’t go without both mine and their permissions. We don’t know them, what they’re like, is it safe, what will he be exposed to there, and are they home and open to have him over, etc.
I thought that was pretty much “the norm,” but maybe I’m just being overprotective. Anyone have any thoughts?