I ran across a great blog called freerangekids.com.  Their spin is to get people to stop being so uptight about their children’s safety…in other words, let them be kids.  I can’t think of a philosophy that I more wholeheartedly embrace, and yet, I live in the worst possible house to make this happen.  I live on a highway.  It takes 5 minutes, and much faith just to cross the street.  The extent of my kids’ free range is our fenced-in backyard.

My neighbor, however, practices the free range philosophy, highway be damned.  I think she’s nuts, but I envy her.  I know she’ll eventually read this, because I live in such a silly small town, but I really do admire her.  When her son was 5, I would see him shooting up in the air on their backyard trampoline.  Ok, a little dangerous, but fun, right?  Well, not fun enough!  So Pops spiced it up a bit.  He nailed 2X4 slats to a giant maple, making a 25 foot tall ladder up the side of the tree.  Now junior plops 25 feet down onto the trampoline.  Man, you should see him soar!  If he lives to be an adult, that kid is going to have unstoppable confidence.