Spring is in the Air. I can see it. I can feel it. I can smell it. Another tell tale sign is the absence of my son's bike from the garage. [caption id="attachment_3979" align="aligncenter" width="225" caption="And they\'re off...."] [/caption] From the time he gets home from school right up until dinner time, he's off and running. And even then, he's only home long enough to wolf down some dinner. Then he's off again...exploring, visiting, playing, running, laughing. He's carefree and so full of life. I'm glad he's out there. I'd rather he be out there playing basketball, biking, playing hide and seek until dusk and hanging out with his pals than be indoors glued to the TV or video games. [caption id="attachment_3980" align="aligncenter" width="225" caption="He shoots, he scores"] [/caption] I really would. But sometimes I worry. About him. About others. About his safety. I don't want him to fear the world. I don't want to shelter him. I want him out there lovin' every minute of being a "big" kid. To ensure his safety and for my piece of mind, some ground rules needed to be set. We sat down one evening and came up with this list. 1. Always hang with a buddy. Never roam alone. 2. Come home at the arranged time. 3. Only go where we discussed. 4. Be aware of your surroundings. 5. Don't take the path less travelled. Always use the main roads. He's at a wonderful stage in his life. He's exploring his independence as he heads into adolescence. But right now, he's still a kid. My kid...and I need to keep him safe.