Growing up in a safe town, and being able to ride my bike or walk wherever I wanted, makes it more difficult for me to keep my guard up. I really don't think twice about letting kids go out to play. I have other family members who don't think that way. Kids always have to be chaperoned in order to be safe. I don't believe that at all. This doesn't mean that I will let the kids walk around in bad parts of LA without me there...ok we aren't going to do that even as a family! It does mean that if they want to go to a local park they can. I don't have to be there. Of course, it would be nice if they remembered how to get back.
We are staying in my childhood home. The entire town is etched in my mind as well as the hiking trails, caves, and all kinds of get away spots when you just don't want anyone to bug you. The grandkids don't know this area very well. They do know how to get from the house to the park. They do know some hiking trails and the creek where I used to catch turtles. What they missed was how to get from the park to the house. I'm not quite sure how they missed that but they did.
They wanted to go to the park and like a good grandparent trying to put a presentation together and not really having time for them I said sure. Just be home for dinner. Three hours later, and about an hour after I figured they'd be beating down the door for food, they hadn't shown back up. I'm getting hungry so I figured I'd go get them. I drove to the park, not feeling like walking the couple of blocks. They weren't where I expected them to be. I drove to other parts of the park. No kids.
The only thing that crossed my mind is they took a wrong turn home. It never crossed my mind that something bad had happened. Nothing bad happened. They took a wrong turn home. Actually, they went a couple of streets too far. Each street has a street sign and they walked right past the street we are staying at. They knew the name so they were probably messing around when they walked right by.
What they did to correct their error is where they need additional training. Boy and girl split up to find their way back to Great grandma's house. That was the wrong thing to do. I found girl around the corner. She had come to the busy main street and knew she had gone too far. Instead of walking back to the park to try it again, she walked down a different street that she hadn't been on at all. When I found her she was directly behind mom's house. I pointed her in the right direction and drove away. You didn't think I was going to pick her up, did you?
Then I found boy. He had made it back to the house but then decided to go search for his sister. This was also the wrong thing to do. After I left girl I saw him running down at the other end of this street that was directly around the corner from mom's. I caught up to him. He said he'd been home but was going to go for a run and get his sister. I told him she was on her way home and now he could runback the other way to the house . He said he wanted a ride. Nothing doing. Run. So he turned around and we raced. He in his bare feet and I in my Ford F250 4x4 pick up. Amazing runner he is. He beat me in the 1/4 mile. Of course I was pretty much coasting...
Dinner conversation included what you do when you get yourself misplaced. In a case like this, their biggest error was splitting up. Then granddaughter made the next error. She could get herself back to where she started but instead went in a way that she knew she hadn't been before. They need to pay more attention to their surroundings, but all in all did pretty well for being 8 and 9 and four hours from home.