Last week in Moms Talk, asked It is so nice to take a moment to reflect upon the things we like and appreciate! Many people wrote in to give props to Larry Walker and The Alarm Company and rhapsodize about our community. Here's what a few people had to say:
Larry Walker is a superstar. The Alarm Company is really well run and their customer service is unmatched.
I love LG! It's a hop skip and jump to the 'big city' if you are so inclined. Or you can just stay home in this truly wonderful small town, with kind, helpful people, great small businesses and feel just plain comfortable. I too have an alarm system from The Alarm Company, doesn't everyone? Larry and his crew are top notch, you get a great feeling knowing how he gives to the community, a super supporter of so many organizations, especially involving the kids! Love Los Gatos and won't ever leave.
I love how we watch out for one another here in Los Gatos. Business to business, and friend to friend. The help and support is amazing. Thank you, Larry!!
Dyan Chan is right - Larry Walker of The Alarm Company has supported the Youth Science Institute and many other deserving Los Gatos community organizations for years. I love Los Gatos because of caring local business owners like Larry Walker!
I love the small town atmosphere and strong sense of community in Los Gatos. When we were in the midst of cancer treatment for my daughter, we were treated with so much kindness from friends and neighbors, including many people we didn't even know at the time. I have always been a pay it forward person, and it was so nice to see that this is really the the norm for our community. Whenever I contemplate moving once we become empty nesters, I always look at the pros and cons and staying here always wins. Los Gatos Rocks!
I love LG for the marvelous people. Everyone is someone here. The local drivers are polite, the local merchants are friendly. The neighborhoods are pretty. Downtown is a great place to walk with your dog or a friend(don't use a leash on your friend unless it is your dog, JK!) . The view of the hills are breath taking. I can even hear the toots of the park train on a sunny afternoon. Most of all I love the short drive to Santa Cruz. I'm truly blessed to be able to find such a diamond in the Bay Area.
Now, onto this week's topic: How much independence should we give our kids?
Los Gatos really is a wonderful town, and it got me thinking about how best to enjoy it with my children. Spring break is upon us, and the warm, lazy days are teasing me with the promise of summer just around the corner.
When I was a kid, I played hide-and-seek in my neighborhood in Fremont for hours, staying out curled up under bushes or high up in trees until it was well past nightfall and my hands and feet were numb from being still or hanging on.
My family had a swimming pool, and there were days when I played until my fingers were prunes and my toes were raw, when I only left the water to visit the bathroom or eat a few bites of a sandwich, until finally my parents dragged me out and made me put on dry clothes.
I walked to school from the time I was 9 or 10, about 1½ miles mostly down a somewhat busy street, after making it through my neighborhood and then through a sometimes muddy, hilly field that had not yet been developed with houses.
On weekends and during the summer I played for hours in the fields just beyond my back fence, making forts in the tall weeds, catching snakes and lizards, and wandering all the way down to creek where I sometimes found piles of bones--a place I nicknamed "where the animals go to die." I rode in the beds of pick-up trucks and in the "way backs" of station wagons, lying down and looking up and out the rear window at the looming figures of trees and street signs as we drove.
Now I am vigilant. I have five-point carseats, and booster seats that my kids are supposed to stay in until they're four-foot-nine. I (and my carpool buddies) drive my kids the-less-than-two-miles, to and from school every time. I only recently--and only under duress--consented to let my 10½-year-old stay home for a couple of hours alone one day. I would never let my kids swim without close supervision or walk down to the small creek behind our house without a grown-up. I'm not even so comfortable letting them walk up the hill and around the corner from our house in our neighborhood.
How do we let our kids develop responsibility and good decision-making skills without letting them take some risks and make some decisions? Where is the line between being a responsible parent and being paranoid and overprotective? Between letting children take appropriate risks and being negligent? How do you know?