The freedom of the holibobs

12 Aug

This sounds somewhat like a fantasy novel title, and maybe one day it will be, but right now, unfortunately, is going to be a quick musing on what, from four days’ acquaintance, seemed to me to be the biggest difference between a village in Sweden and a village in the UK: the freedom afforded to its under-10 inhabitants.  What this meant to the Ls was a completely safe environment to trial the next stage of childhood, as independence grows.

When we get to this point at home – and for me, that won’t be for another year for L1, and at current standards who knows how long for L2 – I will be frightened, I’m not afraid to admit that, of the potential repercussions.  I think here, all parents have something that looms large as their personal bogeyman, and what petrifies one is low down the consciousness of another.  For me, it’s traffic.  The motorbike chasing to get in front of a car.  The impatient commuter.  The unfocussed driver having a chat on their phone.  They’re all there, and they’re veering onto the pavement, just as my tiny people are venturing forth.

In Sweden, however, where we stayed – and it was genuinely bliss – there was no traffic, and the evenings were filled with the sound of children – as young as L2, and upwards – in the playgrounds, so well thought out and laid out for kids of all ages.  For the Ls – especially L1, who fights against what she sees as unfair restrictions on her freedom that for me are merely those age-appropriate – it meant a lot for us simply to say ‘go, we trust you, just stick together and don’t leave someone on their own down there’.  They obeyed this edict to the letter, and had a ball, leaving us to put our feet up with some awesome rose wine and uninterrupted top quality conversation, giggles, gossip – and Olympics viewing.  Revelatory, for all concerned.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: