This year, Twelve bikes to school. It's about eighteen blocks, the route is safe, it takes her about twelve minutes, no big deal. She's never been late and she has the freedom to stay after school to chat with L for 20 minutes. Responsibility meter ratcheted up one notch with this school year? Check.
We love the Grocery Outlet (Bargains Only!) It's not exactly on the way home from Twelve's school, but it's only a few blocks out of the way down a safe street. In addition to the organic cheeses, avocado, and crackers that we love to buy at half price, the "gross out" also often carries nail polishes, emery boards, and strongly scented soaps.
You see where this is going, don't you?
The inevitable result is that Twelve likes to stop at the Grocery Outlet on the way home. I've put a stop to going there for no reason, but if Twelve has a specific item in mind and has the cash, she usually receives permission to go there on the way home.
Yesterday, when Twelve asked if we could go shopping for lunch foods, I replied that we have perfectly suitable lunch foods but that she could go shopping on the way home the next day. I asked her to get sliced cheese, pesto, and crackers, provided the cash, and even laid out a cloth bag for her to take along.
Fast forward to just now. I finish teaching and call Twelve to check in, as is our usual practice. What did she oh-so-proudly bring home from the gross out, you might wonder? Some sort of Newman's Own tangerine twists ("I got us something new to try!" - this girl can spin anything), cereal, yogurt, blueberry muffin mix, and some sort of suspicious-sounding pasta-related item.
Twelve-year-old person responsibility level reality check? Check.