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It’s Tuesday afternoon, and I’m sitting in my new backyard watching my two daughters paddle a canoe around a lake brimming with lily pads and edged in pine. My dog is rolling in the grass near me, dragonflys spinning around his shaggy head. Every so often, he sits up and sniffs the air. If I don’t watch him, he will slip into the cool lake. He acts as if he’s never lived elsewhere. My son just left with three neighborhood boys. Every morning at 10 am for the past 5 days, they’ve come to the kitchen door looking for him. They spend the mornings in the canoe or fishing or catching frogs. Sometimes, they all walk the wooded paths to one or another of their homes. Last night, they lit a campfire. This is very new for my suburban kids. They’ve never lived by the ocean, nor have they ever had this incredible freedom. It reminds me a bit of my own childhood, the naïveté, the innocence, the absence of worry and fear. Nowhere is perfectly safe, and once I had children, that truth became very, very clear, but this place is giving me the space to ease up a little, let my kids explore and trust their own instincts. My girls just ran up and asked if they could make cookies, by themselves. I think I’ll let them. There is plenty of time to clean up, and besides, I’ll be busy giving the dog a bath again. He’s back in the lake.