Its funny sometimes how we go through phases of protectiveness with out kids. At first they can't really move or get into trouble on their own, but you constantly check to make sure they are still breathing. Then they start to move around, and you follow them everywhere, watching every move. Eventually, you feel you don't have to watch every move, but you still prefer to be in the same room with them. Then they go outside.
Outside, you follow them everywhere as they toddle, rarely more than six inches away. Then you allow them to wander farther away as you watch every move, and then you aren't watching every move, but you are outside with them the whole time. Then you allow yourself time to dash in to get a drink, go to the bathroom, or grab another book/magazine. Finally, you stay in the house and just poke your head out from time to time.
Now they start to want to go over to other people's houses. Not just the people across the street, but people around the corner where you can't easily see what's going on. I swear, that's the hardest for me for some odd reason. It's odd that taking Jacob to a near-stranger's house a mile or two away to play with some other kid from his class is easier for me than to take him to another near-stranger's house in our neighborhood. I suppose it’s the theoretical ease of checking in that does it. I could check, but I won't. At least, not unless he's been over there for a whole day or something (which he did occasionally with some folks who have unfortunately moved away).
Then there's the fairness factor. I don't like Jake being over at someone else's house for several days in a row without reciprocating. But what if they seem uninterested in coming over? As long as its clear we've made the offer, should I just get over it?