So today Big, Ten and I were heading to the park via the local hardware store.
I was picking up some nuts and bolts for the climbing wall I'm building. As an aside, I was noticing Big climbing on everything and craving swing sets with parts that required climbing and pulling and all-things-arms which our swingset was lacking so I picked up a few ropes and a bar with rings etc. And now the climbing wall.
Anyway, so I was getting out of the car and heading into the store when I realized that I had a good Free Range Kid moment at hand. The little family-owned hardware store is adjacent to a little (same family-owned) grocery store that has very modest amounts of candy that Big and Ten have enjoyed before. I sent them in with what I thought was $2 but was in fact $3 with a request of my own type of candy (a Laffy-Taffy) and my desire that they keep their choices modest. Then I went in to get my nuts and bolts next door.
A few minutes later they found me at the back pondering size, shape and threading, happily opening their candies, delivering mine as well as $2.02 in change, a penny of which Big promptly pocketed for his collection.
They were absolutely fine and clearly LOVED the freedom and trust that they both earned and deserved.