On what might have easily been the hottest day of the summer, we went to my old stomping grounds, Queens, NY, to shoot our cover celebrity, Lenore Skenazy. But this wasn’t the first time that Lenore and I had connected—and it hadn’t gone so well.
A couple of years prior, Lenore had interviewed me for an article she was writing for the New York Post. I had told her how I hadn’t let my then-9-year-old son use the men’s bathroom in the Museum of Natural History because I was afraid of what (or more to the point, whom) might be lurking within. At the time, I didn’t know much about Lenore, and her own experience with letting her also then 9-year-old son ride the New York City subway home alone, or I might have thought twice about being interviewed.
When I saw the NY Post article (and the slant that it took against my parenting style and choice), I was slightly…miffed. But in reading the piece over (and over a few more times), I realized that perhaps Lenore had a point. And I wanted to learn more about her own parental problems (she was reamed by the media and parents everywhere, even being slapped with the label of America’s Worst Mom) for her choices. Surely, we as mothers (and journalists, to boot) could connect.
And I won’t lie — I was waiting for an apology.
So when we arrived at her home in Queens on the aforementioned 98+ degree day, I was heated — literally. I was also about 5 months pregnant, and a hot, pissed off pregnant woman is not to be trifled with. Lenore lives in a beautiful pre-war building, filled with all the charm and character any Fixer Upper fan would worship. And speaking of charming, so was Lenore. I found her to be a whipsmart woman who wasn’t anti-helicopter parents; she was against kids not being afforded the freedoms that we had grown up with. As it turns out, Lenore and I were on the same page on many points when it came to raising kids, and learning how to give them autonomy and independence without making ourselves sick with trying to overcompensate.
We had a great time chatting (for well over an hour!), taking shots (again, literally) at helicopter parenting, and and Lenore insisted on giving my daughter a shirt because she had spilled something on hers.
Read Lenore Skenazy’s celebrity interview, and let us know what you think about her idea of free-range kids in the comments below!