The wind is whistling, whooshing in a steady current outside our window. It sounds cold. My cheeks are still flushed from walking the mile each way to pick up Snuggler from play rehearsal. We've had supper, and relaxed by reading, and Little Guy bounced his obligatory 500 jumps on the mini-tramp to burn off the energy he hadn't burned off during the day. In half an hour I have to head back into the bluster to retrieve Dancer at the ballet. She scored orchestra seats tonight with her $15 student rush ticket.
Dancer is remarkably independent. City kids get that way; after 5th grade the school system stops providing buses, and gives kids a mass transit card, instead. So most kids are traveling around by age 11 or 12. It's one reason I couldn't imagine living in the 'burbs or the country; all that chauffeuring would make me nuts.
Our family rules for the subway are simple:
1. If the platform is empty, wait near the ticket booth.
2. Get on one of the cars with a subway employee (either the first car or the one in the middle with the conductor).
3. Sit next to someone who looks like a mom.
4. If you feel uneasy about anything, change cars.
5. Text or call when you get off the train.
Oh -- and use only one earbud if you're going to listen to music. You need to be aware of what's going on. And if you're sitting near a door, don't hold anything (phone, iPod, wallet) that can be snatched as someone leaves the train.
It's not complicated. But I still don't let young teens travel alone at 10pm. Even if it's cold and windy.