When I was little, we had a tree in our front yard. It was very climbable. I used to sit in that tree and just think. I don’t remember my mom being around while I was doing that thinking. Rather I remember the solitude.

Does Devin ever experience solitude? He’s not that fond of it, actually. But I’m not sure that we’d give him a whole lot of it when it comes to things like climbing trees or playing the front yard. Why is it so different now? Why do we feel the need to hover? My mom didn’t fret that I’d run out into the middle of the street when a car was coming by. She didn’t fret that I’d get smuggled away by a stranger either.

But I do.

OK. I don’t fret. Those thoughts cross my mind, though. What if, what if, what if, what if? So I simply don’t let him play outside solo. Not in the front yard, at least.

He’s six. When I was six, I was running all over the neighborhood. Blocks away. When and how did things change so much?