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Kerri McLean

Why my daughter's walk in country park with a friend left my nerves shattered...

Kerry McLean

Now that life has become a little less burdened with the rules of the last few months, and with us all having a few more freedoms than before, my two teenagers have been looking, understandably, to spread their wings a bit more and spend increasing amounts of their time with their friends.

It's taking me a while to adjust. After so many months of being together every hour of the day, I'm finding it hard to relax those apron strings and give them their independence back. I've reverted to looking at them as my babies rather than fledgling adults. Not, I hope, that my children have realised this. I've been working very hard at maintaining an air of nonchalance, keeping the smile plastered on my face when asked for a lift in to town, or to be dropped off at the park. I have been very happy publicly, privately not so, to resume my role of resident taxi driver.

Yesterday presented me with the biggest challenge so far to my sustaining this relaxed demeanour. My eldest girl, who's 14, asked if she and her friend could go on a walk together through our local country park. This park, just to explain, has several wooded areas that you pass through and, even at the best of times, it would have jangled my nerves a little to think of her, walking that route without her daddy or I there as her personal bodyguards.