I Was a Free-Range Kid

I’ll never forget it. I was six years old, a new first-grader, when I found out that a girl in my class lived in my own neighborhood. For kids or parents of private school lineage, you know that’s a big deal. Often, my classmates, at the Catholic school I attended, lived as far as thirty minutes away from me (my daughters have friends who live over an hour from us as our school is the only Catholic high school in nine counties). To have a friend just three blocks away was a dream come true. I can still picture the houses, cars, dogs, and yards that flew by as I raced my little, purple bike down the sidewalk. Down one street, past an intersection, turn right, almost to the end of the block, and there it was. And there I was, almost every day thereafter. Without my parents. Without a cell phone. Without a tacking device. Take that in for a moment. I was a six-year-old, on the street alone, and it was glorious. Read more