A Free-Range Soul (So to Speak)

Hi Folks! I loved this response to the post a few days ago about strangers helping out with tantruming toddlers! This comes from reader Kristi Blue. – L.

Dear Free-Range Kids: We were stationed in Germany when I gave birth to my twins in 2002.  I am twin, whose mother is a twin, whose grandmother is a twin and whose great grandmother was a twin.  Five straight generations of twins, and from the moment we found out we were having twins, all I could think about was being able to fly home to my great grandmother and place those precious things in her arms.


Two weeks after they were born we received the call that she wasn’t doing well, and that if we were coming, it needed to be now.  My husband was training so unable to accompany us.  I boarded a trans-Atlantic flight with two nursing newborns and a heavy heart.  The kids both started crying at the same time and as I was fumbling, trying to comfort two infants in the limited space of coach, I see a pair of hands reach over the seat, take one of my babies, and proceed to walk up and down the aisle singing to her as I feed her sister.  It wasn’t until the third lap of coach that I got a good look at the stranger who had my baby.  He was the oddest little man wearing a wide lapeled suit coat, boots with heels and a pompadour, while singing “You Are My Sunshine.”  To this day, my girls still love to hear the story about the time James Brown sang them lullabies! – K.B.

Disturbing? Cool? Both! 3 Kids Take Plane Trip W/Out Informing Parents

Hi Readers! This is just one strange story. A 15 year old Florida girl, Bridget Brown, saved up $700 in babysitting money and used it to take her friend, 13,  and younger brother, 11,  on a plane ride from Jacksonville to Nashville.

The trio cabbed it to the airport, boarded the flight without any problems (Southwest allows kids age 12 and up to travel without adult supervision), and got to their destination. They called their parents from there and immediately flew home.  Bridget is quoted as saying the impetus for this trip was simply this: she just wanted to fly somewhere — and had the money.

So what makes this disturbing? That the kids didn’t tell their parents. (Yes, even Free-Range me thinks kids should let their parents know when they’re flying off to another state.) Also that Southwest didn’t ask any of them for IDs, at least according to this MSNBC account. That’s weird.

What makes it cool? The kids’ spirit of adventure. Their competence in the adult world. The fact they got their money refunded in the end.

Which just may mean a sequel. — Lenore