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Free-Range Children

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My 12-year-old son has just walked out the door to the bus stop with a Nos Energy Drink in one hand and a pocket full of Halloween candy for  breakfast. He also falls asleep with the TV on, a TV which is IN HIS BEDROOM, does not willingly read books, and sometimes gets to steer the car on a quiet, suburban drive. He rides his bike around with a band of friends after school and on weekends, and sometimes they end up at the H & H Mobile Gas Station, on a busy corner, where they buy drinks and plan the filming of thrillingly viral YouTube videos.  He is allowed to attend “all-nighters” at the F.R.A.G. Center, a local hangout for computer gaming geeks, and frequently trades on Craig’s list, where he has made some bad trades, but also gotten himself a bike and a better cellphone. He has seen “R” rated movies, and sometimes listens to music with lyrics that would send his grandmother into apoplexy.

He has grown up in a neighborhood of undergraduate student renters, and as a little boy, used to ride his motorized Jeep around, meeting and greeting, and often being invited in for some ice cream or a little Nintendo. We always knew where he was, and we received apologies for everything from the bong being out when he came into the house (“but we hid it right away!”) to treats given at dinner time. His student friends bought him Christmas gifts, giant bags of candy for Halloween, and, on one memorable occasion, a group of leggy, stunning party girls made him an amazing trick-or-treat bag which is used to this day. Some of them, all grown up and married, still come by to see him.

Jeep

Before you judge (and I can hear the indrawn breaths from here), I will tell you that there is a balance in this life. Just yesterday I took him for a dental cleaning. His shots are up to date, and he is required to do his homework before playing XBox Live. He has good grades, good friends, and is kind to animals, grandparents and small children. He often fixes himself a plate of celery, carrots and ranch dip as a snack, loves broccoli, and is generally fairly charming and polite. He is, to quote one of his teachers recently, “a hard kid not to like,” and I attribute a great deal of his ease in the world to his breadth of experience, positive and negative.

My friend Will, with whom I grew up, recently used the term “Free Range Children” to describe the way he and I were raised in the 70s; there were certainly rules, but we were also encouraged to be “out of the house” and to find things to do on our own. There were no play dates; I honestly cannot remember my parents arranging my social activity once I had hit second grade. We rode our bikes all over town, played games in the backyards until after dark in warm weather, and spent hours in the woods near my house, sledding in winter, building forts and finding troves of decaying pornography in summer. There were very clear boundaries and expectations at my house regarding manners, kindness, and the value of intellect, but no one ever supervised my homework, suggested social alliances, or enrolled me in programs to “improve”me academically. We were a mixed-faith household, and it was always clear to us that we had our options open as far as choosing or not choosing to practice religion. I have to say that my atheist father is one of the most moral and compassionate men I have ever encountered, and that he and my Jewish mother raised two children with strong moral compasses despite the absence of organized religion.

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I was required to brush my teeth, take piano lessons until fifth grade and write thank-you notes, and I was discouraged from having Barbies (which my parents found moronic), but in general, I was “free-range.”

There is, of course, tremendous pressure on contemporary parents to “helicopter;” to protect children from all possible harm, to shape their experiences, friendships and education in a way that increases the probability of future happiness and success. At its lowest levels (and I can agree to disagree with you about this) it involves sheltering children from “inappropriate” content in movies, games and music. My own experience was that, as a voracious reader, I had read all kinds of things (including the incredibly explicit sexual exploits of Frank Harris in a book someone had left at my grandparents’ house) by the time I was in the fifth grade, and that I did not, as a result, become a nymphomaniac who uttered strings of expletives that would make a sailor blush.  I also spent a fair amount of time trying to tune in a porn channel that occasionally presented its grainy self on our downstairs TV set, squinting to figure out whether I was looking at a breast or, perhaps, an elbow.

Sam has become neither a potty mouth nor an axe murderer as the result of his exposure to violence in games and movies, or to “bad” language in rap and hip-hop songs , although I often take the opportunity to explain to him my own personal objection to the way women are objectified in certain music, or to the casualness of killing in games and movies. I have to trust that we have raised him well enough that his brain is not, at this point, merely a malleable puddle of mush to be shaped by whatever blows down the cultural pike. (He is actually more likely to be damaged by that particularly tortured metaphor than by listening to Fifty Cent). My husband and I are watching, we are available, and I know we  both value those “teachable moments.” I vividly recall the “Preachers’ Kids” of my youth who went absolutely wild in high school, and the people who were not allowed to have sugar growing up, and subsequently ate nothing but Captain Crunch in the college dining hall; it is our choice to allow our child to have some exposure to the worst of pop culture now, while we can talk about it and maybe provide a parental inoculation against the worst effects.

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A level up from media control is academic and social micromanagement. I am less flexible on this topic. I do not believe that children have to have certain teachers, be with certain friends in classes, or have specific curriculum, without which they will fall behind and find themselves doomed to work as grocery store baggers. I also believe that part of learning to function in the world is being allowed to fail while the parental net is still there; better to find out what happens when you don’t do your homework when you’re in fifth grade than when you are in college.  My parents intervened precisely twice in my 13 year public school career, provoked once by the second grade teacher who believed I was dyslexic and told me that I should stop writing imaginary stories and “write about something real, like dolphins.” We would always intervene to protect Sam from a situation that was damaging to him academically or personally, but having to make new friends in the classroom or deal with a cranky teacher is a part of life, like meeting new co-workers or roommates,  or working for a difficult boss.

The highest level of parental control involves physical freedom, and it’s complicated. There are places where children are not safe outside, and, sadly, their parents do right to keep them close to home and under watchful eyes. We don’t live in one of those places, and although there are busy streets to cross, and probably the average amount of stranger-danger, Sam is now completely free-range. There were streets he wasn’t allowed to cross until he was a certain age, we have to be able to get in touch with by cell at all times, and he has to wear a helmet, but he can go. I have seen in my own childhood, and among Sam’s friends, the effects of the restrictions imposed by fearful parents, and while I fully (!) understand the impulse to protect what you love most in the world, there is no way to accident-proof life. Bad teachers, bad influences, bad words, and bad accidents happen, and one chooses either to insulate one’s offspring for the longest possible time to keep them safe and happy, or to let life unfold, running behind the two-wheeler with a hand ready for a fall, but clinging to neither bike nor child.

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The summer after Sam was in first grade, he and his friend John rode down the big hill we live on, into the intersection below; Sam on his bike and John on a scooter. At the foot of the hill, John rode into a moving car, and was killed. When John’s father, who I admire beyond words, came over the next day to tell Sam what a good job he had done to run for help, he said to me that John had probably known he was doing something dumb, but that he had “died being a boy, and having a great ride.” I haven’t heard anything wiser since.

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About imagineannie

I feel like I'm fifteen - does that count? I'm lots of things, I get paid to be the Managing Editor for a local news publication, and I love my job. I am also inordinately fond of reading, animals (I have four), elephants, owls, hedgehogs writing, tramping in the woods, cooking India, Ireland, England, avocado toast, Sherlock Holmes, Harry Potter, Little Women, Fun Home, Lumber Janes, Fangirl, magic, Neil Gaiman, Jane Austen, YA books, not YA books, classical music, Salinger (OMG SALINGER), Brahms, key lime pie, indie music, podcasts, sleeping in, road trips, marmalade, museums, bookstores, the Oxford comma, BBC, The Miss Fisher Mysteries, birdwatching, seashells, kombucha, and stickers. Not a huge fan of chewing gum, jazz, trucker hats or dystopian and/or post-apolcalyptic fiction (but I'll try anything).

43 responses »

  1. I am crying and you are so wise and so right.

    Reply
    • Well, that last part made me cry, too. Always does. Thanks for the kind words. 🙂 I don’t feel all that wise about parenting a LOT of the time.

      Reply
  2. Ann,

    This is an AMAZING article and I swear, you write well enough to be in the New Yorker! I have never heard such wise words and you are spot on about the “helicopter” parents and that fear and meddling can ruin a child.

    Great job, my friend! WOW!

    Reply
    • Thank you, dear. That may be the best compliment ever.

      I have probably offended many of my friends, (most of whom, fortunately, do not read this blog), but this kind of burst out of me like a force of nature.

      You don’t actually know anybody at The New Yorker, do you…? 🙂

      Reply
  3. Ann, I hope I can put into words what I’m thinking right now-I will try, through my tears. As I was reading, I felt I could very much identify with how the author parented. My children have a lot of freedoms that others don’t and I sometimes think I’m hearing “you let them watch/eat/listen to/do, etc. that?”, but it’s just the way my husband and I choose to do things. We’d rather them be exposed to maybe questionable things under our watch so we can educate them. It wasn’t until I got to the last paragraph until I realized who the author was and read about the extremely unfortunate accident. My heart went out to both families (and even though I hardly knew you at the time, I should have offered some encouraging words-shame on me.) I think how we choose to raise our kids is influenced by how we were raised.I had a lot of freedom growing up (as did my husband)-we ate breakfast and ran out the door with our Mom yelling “Be home in time for dinner!”, when we were younger to “Don’t forget your housekey” when we were teenagers. My brothers and sister and I did some stupid things and sometimes wonder, “were our parents naive or was it because I was the third child I got away with more?” Will I be that same parent? I like to think I’m aware of what’s going on and I try very hard to let my kids know they can talk to me about anything. We have pretty good communication so far and even though they’re young yet, I hope it will carry on through the teen years. As hard as it is for me sometimes, especially with my middle child who is quite a bit more adventurous, I feel I need to give them the freedom to go explore and hang out with friends. I often encourage them to bring their friends back here to hang out, not so I can meddle, but so I can be undetected ears and eyes. My husband and I are honest, moral, hard working people (who do like to have a good time, however) and hope to instill those important qualities into our children. And I do have to say, Sam is one of the sweetest and most polite boys I know. It must have been the summer before 1st grade when we met him. He was riding his bike around the neighborhood, and my kids were playing outside. Sam and my oldest boy ended up hitting it off, spending the day together, and then we invited him to stay for dinner with us. I remember telling you on the phone, when he asked for permission to stay for dinner, what a great boy you have. You said “I know!” Thank you for writing such a thought provoking article.

    Reply
    • Jen, thanks for such a thoughtful comment. I agree that one of the hardest parts of choosing “free-range” over “helicopter” is the feeling that you are being judged, silently, by the parents who prefer closer control. When I feel insecure about what we’re doing, after I hear a “you let them watch that?!” I remind myself to take a good look at Sam, and decide whether we made a mistake. So far, although he is far from perfect, I think we have done right by him. Thanks, most of all, for saying such nice things about him. I don’t know if I’d do as well as you do with multiple kids because I didn’t have that opportunity, but I do love the one I got. A lot.

      Reply
  4. Wow, what an amazing piece of writing! While I am a bit more helicopter than you, I probably fall in the middle. I grew up at the same time as you are remember being gone all day with my friend. We were too young to drive and would ride bikes to the mall in Grand Rapids, take public transportation, walk to the elementary school in the winter (so it was dark) to go sledding…Most of which I’d have a fit about now. But I lived through my 11 yr old girlfriend being kidnapped and killed, and still my parents let me be free. People think it’s less safe now, but I don’t believe it. Parents complain that their kids don’t play outside all day, but they won’t let them go a block to the park with a friend. We are doing this too our selves. I wish more people would read this lovely piece. I say the hardest thing to do as a parent is to let them be free. I just said it yesterday! I’m letting my autistic child walk freely over busy streets with neighbors and giving him independence he is loving. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. I cried at the end of this too. Thanks for writing!

    Reply
    • Thanks, Michelle. I think the issue is more complicated for you, at least with Daniel; I don’t really think you can just send him out into the world and hope for the best without some planning and prep work. I don’t think it’s less safe now, either, I think we just have more media battering us with every missing, exploited child in America and those reports have such a hard impact on parents that it’s hard to be rational about the actual numbers.

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  5. Wow. Powerful post, Ann. My first thought was a memory back when I was in fourth grade living on Pennsylvania Ave before we moved to Okemos. I walked to school then and had to cross railroad tracks to get there. Sometimes there would be slow moving trains going in the direction of the school and I and friends would “hitch a ride” on the train–grabbing onto the ladders fixed on the side of some of the cars. When I told my mom we did this, she had a visceral, eye-popping reaction but calmed herself enough to tell me I wasn’t EVER to do that again and explained that I could ‘get my legs’ cut off if I slipped and it was very very dangerous. Then she made me tell her exactly who did that with me and called all the parents of these kids. She assured me it wasn’t tattling because, well, she didn’t want to see any kids hurt and if I encountered reprisals from my friends, I was to tell them they wouldn’t want to live the rest of their lives in a wheelchair, would they?

    My second thought was much more recent-our next door neighbors have an absolutely adorable 3yr old girl whom we love dearly. I told her father and mother I just couldn’t understand how they could ever let her out of their sight (and I’m talking about letting her go to pre-school!!!) If I were a parent, I think it would be almost impossible to let my kid just go out and play-like I did as a kid. Her mother told me that, of course, it’s hard, but you just do it because you have to let the kid grow up, experience life and all its disappointments, decisions and joys. I get that, but I fear I would be Air-Force One Helicopter, anyway.

    Add to that that I was a latch-key kid by the time I was in the fifth grade and remember all the shenanigans we got up to in those days. Maybe it’s just better that I have dogs and cats and not kids. I don’t worry as much. I do have to say that you and Rob are great parents and so were your parents–not overly protective, but there, as you say, as parental safety nets.

    Oh, the last paragraph is definitely a tear-jerker. How terribly sad.

    Reply
    • Eric, I would have reacted just like your mother did – I got all prickly just reading about it. Dear Lord, what were you thinking?! I think you would be fine with children, but it’s tough. I think being a parent brings out tendencies good and bad that have to be constantly examined and sometimes checked. We just can’t let our own experiences, fears, prejudices or desires cancel out who a child actually is. Otherwise, well, you’ve seen “Carrie,” and “Sybil…”.

      Reply
  6. Loved the piece Annie! You are some writer! Even when I grew up things were just more free. We PLAYED! We had breakfast, lunch and dinner as a family and went back out til the porch light came on. When I see Sam go off on his bike I felt apprehensive but was happy for him. He’s learning to make his own fun in a good way.

    You and Rob are doing a great job! The hope of every Gramma!!

    Reply
    • Thanks for reading, Jan! Sometimes Sam’s kind of fun involves a call from the Principle, or a lot of blood, but mostly it is all good. We couldn’t do this without help from Gramma, either. 🙂

      Reply
  7. Elizabeth Ramos

    I’ve never been one for scheduling much of anything except for dental appointments! And that is precisely why I fell in love with the term “free range children.” Love love love that! I want my kids to have time to just hang out – doing whatever hits them at the moment as opposed to rushing off to some predetermined activity. I allow them some scheduled activities but frankly I am fussy about those…they can’t be too time consuming, involve lengthy drives for me or interfere too much with our family life. We actually enjoy being together as a family, and I don’t like things that interfere with that! I like the idea of my kids being able to explore their world spontaneously. I am not so worried about the choices my children might make, but rather I worry about weird, random and strange things – all statistically improbable. I have not yet figured out a way to let go of those odd fears so I sometimes find myself “giving free range” with trepidation. Perhaps this is just part and parcel of a mother’s love. It comes inexorably linked with worry for me. Loved this post. Another beautiful piece of writing. Keep it coming.

    Reply
    • As you know, it is always suspect in this particular community if one’s child is not scheduled to the point of becoming the Actualization of Potential. Back when I was a student musician in Okemos, I saw a lot of incredibly neurotic kids who had really been pushed into becoming musicians. Fabulous performers, diligent practicers, but tightly, tightly wrapped. I often wonder what they might have chosen to do if they had been permitted the emotional space to seek out their own “things.”

      I also worry about bizarre things; I think we all do. I had to stop reading womens’ magazines when Sam was a baby because I was convinced that he had, or would have every rare. terrible childhood illness I read about….

      Reply
  8. Incredible writing! I was going to write a piece on the same theme this coming weekend. Perhaps it’s seeing trick ‘r treating turned into a virtual formal occasion these days that provided the impetus. However, I shall probably not do so. I don’t feel like trying to measure up.

    I grew up in a time and place when kids were given those freedoms as a matter of course, and when parents had little to worry about apart from freak accidents like falling out of trees. In a small town in the ’50’s, with every adult in town knowing us by our first names, we wouldn’t have been able to get away with much anyway, so no one worried much about us until we hit dating age. At that point, as far as I could tell, the general attitude around my house was that I was who I was, for better or for worse, and would probably do the right thing. (Which I did, along with a lot of not-so-right things.)

    It’s much harder being a kid today, I believe, and I know it’s more difficult being a parent. We live in by no means the same world that any of us grew up in. My daughter spends an incredible amount of time raising my urban grandchild. Play dates are the only option in most cases, and biking around the neighborhood without an adult is pretty much out of the question. I mourn for the childhood pleasures that my granddaughter will miss, and yet I suspect that she will find her own memories to treasure when she’s an old fart like granpa.

    I certainly hope so, anyway.

    Thanks for a wonderful read.

    Reply
    • Thanks Bill; I certainly didn’t mean to steal your topic. 🙂 This whole thing actually came about because of a conversation I was having with a brother and sister I grew up with. He was advocating “free-range,” and she was pointing out that living in Chicago, she has a very different set of concerns than we had in the suburbs. It isn’t safe to set children “free” in a city; I didn’t feel safe outside at night when I lived in a city, and I was in my twenties!

      I agree, though, that all children raised lovingly and thoughtfully will have their own memories, they’ll just be different. We got to play outside all day, but City Kids get the museums, the great restaurants, the parades, the decorated holiday store windows….

      Reply
  9. PS: Steve Hagen’s pretty great, eh?

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  10. I agree with giving children the freedom to come up with their own things to do but otherwise think the writer is confusing freedom with lack of discernment.

    The exact job of parents is to help their children learn how to filter the ‘content’ of the world. The end of the piece is a perfect example of what can happen to a child who is given adult level freedom without adult supervision.

    Reply
    • jrg, I think Jen may have said this better in the comments after yours, but I think you may have missed the point here. As every ER doc and actuary would tell you, accidents happen. They happen all the time, they happen unexpectedly, and despite our best efforts to keep them from happening. If you attempt to create a world in which no accidents occur, you are effectively shutting yourself (and your children) off from all of the joy in the world.

      I am also not sure that allowing a 7 and 8 year old ride bikes or scooters two blocks in their own suburban neighborhood on a well-lit summer day is providing “adult level freedom.” If it is, I’m not sure what’s left to enjoy in childhood.

      Reply
  11. Amen. They’re ours on loan only. We should prepare them for life, not raise them as terrarium creatures.

    I still remember how terrible John’s death was– finding out and figuring out that I know both kids.

    Nothing can erase that tragedy. But a tragedy bigger still is to raise a bunch of Sleeping Beauties who won’t know what to do when a real situation happens when they’re out on their own.

    Reply
    • Amen right back at you! This is such a hard job, this mom thing (!) but we don’t own them, and if we hobble them to keep them safe and near, they can never flourish.

      Reply
  12. Hi Annie!
    I was referred to your piece by a fellow friend on Facebook that had come across this entry and really enjoyed it. I, too, believe in Free-range kids!! have a couple of my own and wouldn’t have it any other way.

    I run a small publication in St. Johns, Michigan called St. Johns Locale – it’s part of Locale Media Company, LLC. As I have come across this article, it strikes me as something I would love to publish in our magazine. I am a very small time operations that started only a few months ago, and I don’t have a lot of resources to pay writers at this time. many of my articles are written by locals who have good information to share and I give them writers credits, of course. Is there any possibility you would consider allowing me to publish this article for our December issue? I can promise that you will get intrigued readers, and we can certainly promote your blog if you wish to attract a bigger audience.

    Feel free to email me if you have any desire to contribute. I have truly enjoyed reading yoru piece and hope to read more!

    All my best,
    Laurie Bishop
    Publisher
    St. Johns Locale Magazine

    Reply
    • Laurie, thanks!!!!! I’m a big fan of little St. Johns, and I’d love to contribute. I’ll be in touch via e-mail.

      Reply
    • Hello Ladies,
      I too live in the Mint City and I too loved this read. If you do publish Annie’s work, I’d love to see it. How can I get a copy of The St Johns Locale?
      Thank you,
      Stephanie

      Reply
  13. jrg – got to disagree with your last sentence. The end of the piece is a perfect example of an accident that can happen at any age and even with 2 parents right there watching. The end of first grade is when a child is 7/8 and that is a perfect age when kids can ride their bikes around the neighborhood. Dangers are everywhere and always were.

    Accidents do happen. Our daughter was 2 and ran across a busy street (2 steps in front of her) to get to her dad who was putting bikes up on our car. She was hit and it destroyed us. However, she lived, she now thrives and we were taught valuable lessons about life, death, hope, renewal, peace and understanding.

    Have a good day.

    Reply
  14. Ann,
    Nice. definatly NOT fluff. You go girl….

    Reply
    • I promised you no fluff except around Thanksgiving, did I not? This is getting to be a risky business, all of this divisive, highly inflammatory stuff, but it is what I really think about life. I sure never drew fire when I was writing about making soup…..

      Reply
  15. Ann,

    As one of the college students who definitely gave Sam ice cream for breakfast, and has watched him grow for nearly 9 years, I have the basis to authoritatively state that Sam is one of the most (if not THE most) well adjusted children I’ve had the pleasure of knowing.

    This blog post is funny, sad, wise and true. Keep writing about everything.

    Reply
    • You are a qualified authority, and I thank you for supporting our unorthodox but heartfelt child-rearing technique. I will keep writing about everything, although it’s kind of exhausting. And exhilarating. Too bad I have to keep stopping to talk to clients…..

      Reply
  16. PS This should be in Modern Love in Sunday Styles or in Lives in the Sunday Times Magazine.

    Reply
    • That is a huge compliment, but I am not sure how one goes about such a thing – it always looks to me like they have staff and freelancers they ask for those things?

      Reply
  17. PPS Do you have any pictures of Sam in his Jeep? I’d love one if you can email it or I can make a copy.

    Reply
    • I have them, but I’m not sure I have them in my computer. If not, I’ll scan one in and send it to you. Lots of pictures of him chaufering various ladies….

      Reply
  18. Powerful piece Ann! I am so happy it is blog month! You definitely deserve a wider audience.

    Reply
    • Thanks, Diane! I can’t do this kind of stuff every time, but I do enjoy it. As for the wider audience, I’d love one, I just don’t know how to do it…..

      Reply
  19. Wow. We’re not in Kansas anymore…

    I’m wanting to read a follow-up now about how Sam coped with the death of his friend…how you dealt with it as a parent.

    I’m so glad you’re writing this stuff out!

    Reply
    • We aren’t.

      Actually, Sam was fine – really, always, fine, and we were watching pretty closely. I was not fine for a long time, and really, the reactions of other mothers were fascinating to me for a variety of reasons. That sounds awful; I hope it makes more sense when I write it…..

      Reply
  20. Good post, Anne (I think from all the comments you realize at this point you’ve hit a really important issue here). I’m a devotee of the Free Range Kids movement and would suggest to any of you that you look at the book by that name by Lenore Skenazy. It’s great, and gets at a lot of the reasons we seem to feel as we do about safety, exposing a lot of the myths. She also does a blog (here at wordpress, actually) as well.

    http://freerangekids.wordpress.com/

    I’d also recommend a blog post on a similar topic by my good friend from high school, Judy Zimmerman, aka the Self-Righteous Housewife. A lovely story about an episode with her 15-yr-old. (It’s one of MANY great posts from a great mom).

    http://theselfrighteoushousewife.blogspot.com/2009/09/buddhist-takes-taxi.html

    I’d like to actually encourage my kids to be more “free range” (i.e. playing outside and getting into minor mischief in the neighborhood with other kids) but it’s so far from the norm in my neighborhood. Here every kid seems to disappear behind his front door after school each day and even weekends are too booked with sports and lessons and family stuff to just go find a friend to hang out with. Nor do I live (unfortunately) in a neighborhood where they could ride bikes anywhere useful. It’s our neighborhood, then miles of semi-country road (lined with private property so not good for exploring), then highways–no store or gas station or anything to ride to within miles. I hate that. My boys ride around the block, straight back into our garage and call that outdoor play. I think they’re better off in the afterschool program at school–at least they’re playing with other kids and not in front of a keyboard.)

    Reply
  21. Article in yesterday’s TIME magazine:

    “Can These Parents Be Saved?”
    http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1940395-1,00.html

    Coincidence, or did you read this before writing your piece? Just curious, and this article is good (though it covers lots more forms of overparenting, of which helicopter parenting is only one example).

    Reply
    • I read it after, and found it fascinating. It took a more global view, and was (in its own way) far more horrifying than my limited, subjective observations.

      Reply
  22. Ann, this was wonderful, I also think children these days are scheduled out too much with no free time to just be kid’s. I grew up with your husband, his sister was my best friend. I remember either being at there house or her at mine. We had such a charmed life, it was so full of love and laughter, I can only hope the same for my granddaughter, but we had a good example in Jan and my mom (Jan also) we got our butt’s kicked when we needed it and a hug when we need that. Keep up the good work, hope to see you and Rob soon for that talk about our childhood. Kim

    Reply
    • I’m so glad you liked it! I can’t wait to hang out and learn more about Rob-as-a-child; he is pretty closed mouthed about what he did as a kid….

      Reply

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