You guys, things have gone too far. I just saw this link on Facebook, followed by a bunch of worried comments. It is time for a Sane Mom Revolution, in which we decline to take any more of this crap.
In case you have forgotten or are new around here, I was the subject of a full-on investigation by CPS. I can attest that it is NO FUN to be asked how many of your children tested positive for drugs at birth. (I have wondered, in the years since I wrote those posts, if I would have been less agitated in a non-pregnant state.) I can also attest that my husband's words were true: we are not living in a Kafka novel. I can attest that you can have a calm conversation with a CPS representative about why you let your kids out of your sight now and again, and you can be persuasive. Declaration: unfounded.
You can have an awkward conversation with a neighbor who thinks your kid shouldn't walk around the block, and it can go smoothly. You can talk to the cops when the cranky neighbor calls them about a lemonade stand, and the cops will probably be reasonable.
We can't live in fear that our kids will be kidnapped, and we can't live in fear of the people living in fear that our kids will be kidnapped either. CPS and the police need to hear from American parents: we are not going to expose our kids to unnecessary risks. In keeping with this commitment we are going to stop driving them all over the damn place because that's the thing most likely to kill them. Let 'em walk -- save a life!
There's a lot at stake here. Independence and good judgment do not suddenly descend upon 18-year-olds who have spent their lives being driven about from place to place -- kept safe from mustachio-twirling strangers, perhaps, but not from their own stupidity.