Free-range children benefits:
Viscid lollipops, late bedtime, unlimited screen time.
Cavities, sleep deprivation, bad eyesight.
Elementary school, I was on my own.
Wake up, quietly get dressed, comb hair, and
gently lay the wooden comb.
Microwave, stop its alarming beep.
Tiptoe to kiss. Exit.
After school, the eerie vacancy
forces me into retreat.
Uninvited echoes trailed
even the slightest sounds.
I crafted. I hung
color paper chains on every arch.
I fell asleep.
I grew older to further
embrace free-range parenting.
Between California and Georgia,
I chose the latter.
Living apart from both parents,
my culinary skills quickly advanced.
From revering measuring spoons,
I have diverted.
Weekly trips to the grocery store
have become a staple in my routine;
I am shopping, meal-planning, budget-
keeping through practice.
Grocery trips to independence.
Prepared to venture into the
unknown future, I am no longer
afraid to live alone.