Free Range Kids

Andrew riding a very low pine bough like a horse with Isaac's help.

Andrew riding a very low pine bough like a horse with Isaac's help.

I realize that all things are relative, but to most people, especially urban dwellers, my children would be classified as “free range kids.” My family is very fortunate to live on Cross Creek Cattle Company in rural Grimes County. The ranch itself lends itself to a child’s playground. All that is required is an imagination.

Acres and acres of open pasture, wooded pastures, dry creek beds, and many ponds all offer different venues for fun. My children love to hike. They love to observe the flora and fauna, especially now in the spring time. Wildflowers are in bloom, dewberries are beginning to form on their thorny vines, and baby animals are emerging from their hiding places. The woods offer cool, shady place, including trees to climb and places to play hide and seek.

A string of bass.

A string of bass.

The dry creek beds are fun places to play various games, especially if you have a stick “gun” with which to shoot. Running down and up the banks are also fun and great exercise. We allow our children to go fishing in the ponds without supervision with the exception of our youngest two boys, 5 and 3 respectively.

The ranch with its horses and cows also offer a different kind of entertainment. My older children are great riders. They are allowed to ride on the ranch whenever they get the notion. The cows are not near as fun as the horses. However, Jake, especially, loves to stand in the middle of the herd watching the calves play. They are curious creatures and will soon come up to him. If he moves slowly, he can usually scratch their foreheads and/or touch their moist noses.

Sheltered by the safety of the ranch, we have no “stranger danger” to concern us. My children are like the children of old, playing outside limited only by a few rules and their imaginations. Their faces are lightly freckled and tanned in the summer. Their bodies healthy and rarely ill. The bottoms of their feet are callused and never notice the sharp points of the rocks on the road. They have great imaginations and play well with one another.

They also know this ranch like the back of their hand. Therefore, their heart strings have rooted deeply in this land just like my brother and myself, and like our father before us. Cross Creek Cattle Company is more than a family-owned and operated ranch; it is where our heart calls home. It is where members of our family bring their children to enjoy a free-range childhood; regardless of where they live the other days of the week. It is where my husband and I choose to live while raising our family, knowing full well that we wanted to have “free range kids.”

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One Response to “Free Range Kids”

  1. Susan Lea Says:

    Beautiful post! I wish we could have lived in the country while our kids were little, but at least now our grandkids will grow up “free-range”!

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