Two years ago
Lenore Skenazy purposefully left her 9-year-old son stranded on the Upper East Side, leaving him to ride the subway alone. At the time, she spoke of leaving her own flesh and blood (but not her cell phone, "didn't want to lose it") alone with some quarters if he got lost on his adventure. She explained, "I trusted him to figure out that he should take the Lexington Avenue subway down, and the 34th Street crosstown bus home. If he couldn’t do that, I trusted him to ask a stranger."
Now the craziest mom in Queens is back, and leading a crusade against overprotective parents. The Daily News reports on their former columnist, who wants parents to leave their kids alone in the park this Saturday. She's calling it: Take Our Kids to the Park…And Leave Them There Day. On her blog (called Free-Range Kids) announcing the day, she wrote, "Here in New York City there is some media interest in the day. Yay! So if there’s one particular playground in Central Park that you are heading for, let us know and maybe a bunch of us can head over there together. (I know there’s some big rock my son and his friend love to climb around 64th Street)."
The idea has made it all the way to CNN and the cover of some New York papers, where it wasn't written in some special invisible-to-pedophiles ink. So, is this the worst idea ever, or what?
While she doesn't suggest the independence day to children under 7, some parents are criticizing her grand plan. One Park Slope mom told the paper, "Never in a million years would I do something that stupid." To those who disagree, or aren't very fond of their children anyway, Skenazy will be dropping her kid off at Ancient Playground in Central Park this Saturday afternoon (though she says she'll hang out at a discreet distance due to the media attention).