Dear Nosey Lady Down the Street,
We've never met. In fact, I've never even seen you. I've just heard all about you and your ugly little dogs from my 12 year old, especially after last week when you took it upon yourself to corner my son and rip him a new one.
Good thing I brought the boy up to be polite to people, even the crazies. Especially the crazies. You crazies are just a tad unpredictable. Especially when you tell 12 year olds that the police were informed of their activities in the park.
I know that the park has had some issues lately. Just last week I had to call the cops because some teenagers were drinking and mooning people. Hey, I'm all for getting back to nature, but that's not quite what I had in mind. And then there's the small problem of some of them occasionally smoking drugs, or ripping up and down the road on dirt bikes.
How an 11 and 12 year old building a fort, picking berries, and pretending to survive in the wilderness fits in there as illicit, illegal, activity, I'm not quite sure. They, like you, are just enjoying the park and deserve to be able to without people like you accusing them of smoking drugs in their fort.
I'm sure you believe that all children constantly plot to get into trouble, and that they just wait for the opportune moment to be away from their parents so they can dip into the stash of pot or steal something from the liquor cabinet. Probably it's best if they are all locked up, or kept under close supervision because anyone that even looks like a teenager is evil and up to no good.
Maybe you were that kind of kid. Maybe you had that kind of kid.
For now, I have a 12 year old boy who loves to play outside in the woods for hours on end, inventing games with his friend about wilderness survival. He dreams of his own cabin in the wilderness and living off the land. To him, there's nothing better then hanging out in the forest with the squirrels, forging for berries and making things. I know that won't last long, I'm not naive. He enters high school in the fall and that innocence that is so endearing now will be chipped away at bit by bit, year by year.
In a few years, he'll no longer play in the park. You'll have your empty space back. You can walk those trails with your ugly dogs all you want and never have to see children playing and having fun.
In the meantime, he has my full blessing, and that of the local cops, to play in the park all he likes.
Apparently kids building forts isn't a priority to our local detachment.