Next week my son starts BMX bike camp, his first ever sleep-away camp. The camp features the kind of roller-coaster landscape you see at the X Games—a big bowl for swooshing in and out of, and ramps to set you up for “big air” jumps.
At seven, he’s just beginning this journey, and it’s a bit terrifying. When my son and I watched a video about BMX legend Mat Hoffman, I cringed over the biker’s repeated concussions and surgeries. There’s one shot where he misses a landing and drops out of the air like a bag of potatoes. Oof.
We’ve always been outliers as parents, willing to let our son–and later our twin daughters–taste dirt and scrape knees. If their legs look pristine at the end of the summer–with not even bug bites–we’ve done something wrong.
As free-range parents, we accept risks that other parents don’t. When my kids want to climb a …