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Free-Range Horror!


So this one isn’t about my experience personally, but I wanted to do a comic about the Meitivs and free-range parenting, since it’s in the news. Again.

Personally, I don’t see anything wrong with allowing your kids to explore their neighborhood independently. Growing up in suburban Baltimore (Essex,) my friends and I would wander the neighborhood all the time. Essex circa 1990 was probably rougher than modern-day Silver Spring, and we all survived. Well, this one guy exposed himself to some of my friends once, and they had to miss a few days of school to go to court and testify (10 year old Chelsea was SO jealous. Missing school?! Court?! Penises?!) but they all turned out fine.

Anyway, it’s unlikely that your kid will be kidnapped by some random person on the street. It happens, but so does getting hit by lightening.

I will say, that if I were the Meitivs, and CPS was already in touch with me about leaving my children unattended, I would watch them like a hawk for the rest of their lives, because I would really, really not want my kids taken away. But perhaps there’s more to the story that’s not being reported. I don’t know. On the surface, it seems pretty harmless to let your elementary aged children play by themselves.

Another note about this comic. Typically, I try to make the characters pretty diverse. In this case, I made everyone white. Not only because I’m trying to depict the Meitiv children, but because if free-range parents who aren’t white tend to face more severe consequences.

About carrtoons@gmail.com

Chelsea Carr has been cartooning for over ten years. Currently, she works as the editorial cartoonist for Harford County’s The Aegis and The Record. She has also had her work included in MAD Magazine, b, and Baltimore’s City Paper. Chelsea holds a B.F.A. from the Maryland Institute, College of Art (2005) and an M.A.T. from Johns Hopkins University (2011.) In addition to cartooning and being a first-time mother, she has worked as an elementary school art teacher.

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