Last week I left the middle kids home alone while Erin, Fiona and I went to Nelson. Erin had a piano lesson, and then had a session scheduled with an accompanist to record a piece for a video audition. She did a dynamite job, nailing it on the first try through -- no rehearsal. I'll post it sometime. We talked to the accompanist whom, wonder of wonders, seems willing to be persuaded to take Fiona on as a piano student in the fall. Fiona is thrilled!
Since we'd stayed in Nelson a little longer than usual, I called home to check in with the middle kids. They were fine. But a little glum, because the power had gone out. No computer, no TV, no transportation, no creative inspiring mother at home (not!) to put them to work or at least join them in a board game or read aloud to them.
"It's okay, though," Sophie said. "We made a fire to keep warm, and we've lit a bunch of candles. Noah's napping and I'm reading. I'll probably go split some kindling for a while."
Righto, I thought. Sounded fine to me. "Okay, just remember no crazy flips and rolls on the gym mats while you've got open flames around, right?" This earned some sort of "duh!" response from Sophie. Obviously this safety consideration was self-evident to her. "We'll be home in an hour and a half. You know who to call if you need anything?"
It was only after I hung up that I realized that to a lot of people living outside our rural subculture of self-reliance, it would probably seem just a little bit dangerous for a 9-year-old to be home alone manning a woodstove, lighting candles and using a hatchet, all with her mother's blessing.
All was of course well when I arrived home. The kids had the house cozy and warm.