Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - NEWS - mi­randa mur­phy Mi­randa Mur­phy is a mother of three and a journalist at The Aus­tralian. Fol­low me on Twit­ter @mur­phymi­randa

THERE are count­less mo­ments in par­ent­ing to turn your hair white – and the first time you let your kid go off some­where on their own is a big­gie.

Our daugh­ters took their first unas­sisted trip to the cor­ner store last week. It’s hardly a mis­sion to Mars, but walk­ing 200m to the shop at the end of the street is a start.

We cov­ered all haz­ards be­fore their first trip, tak­ing yet another dry run to­gether. I checked the weather forecast for the next 10 min­utes and did a quick NASA in­ter­net search for any me­te­orites ap­proach­ing Syd­ney.

And then I sent them up the street with $20.

The girls, of course, were thrilled.

I was sick with worry and at the 9.5-minute mark texted my hus­band: “I’ve just let the girls go to the shop alone. Am I mad?”

And then they strolled ca­su­ally back in the door.

My over­whelm­ing re­lief rapidly gave way to sus­pi­cion when I saw the bulging shop­ping bag.

They had come home with the milk – check – plus two pun­nets of straw­ber­ries, a bag of ic­ing sugar and some gin­ger bis­cuits.

We’ll work on that “bring back change” in­struc­tion next week.

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