Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Childhood of our Children

As I said yesterday, I used to lament my children's upbringing - where was the backyard, the park, the sprinkler? Our kids have had everything outside their door ranging from a tiled courtyard to a pool to a gated community. Each time we've made the most of it. This time is no exception.

In our new apartment, we are in a complex that isn't gated, but has little traffic on the streets. Our area includes about 30 buildings arranged in in rows. Between the rows are small parking lots, courtyards, roads, paths, and even grassy areas.

We have good friends who live at the other corner of the complex. To get there, our kids cross a small street, then ride their bikes along the edge of the complex where there are no cars. Ethan realized he could see a potential new route to our friends' house from our window so yesterday we went out to explore.

As we rode bikes around, following paths between buildings, I started to see it all from a kid's perspective. Here was a ordinary ramp that became a great slide, there a small grove of trees in which to play, here an open area for capture the flag.

I want to give my kids freedom to explore the area on their own. It feels quite safe, and we're going to get Ethan a cell phone to help keep track of them. I've been reading this blog called Free Range Kids that has been encouraging me to let them just enjoy what they've been given. It may not be the childhood I had, but it seems they think it's pretty fun.

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