Egads, my son turned 9 yesterday. Breck is 1 year away from being 10, half-way to 18, 3 maybe 4 years from really caring about girls, and probably 4 years from starting to dream about the day he gets the car keys.
Heh, I don't think he is aware of my views about 16 year olds and driving.
His birthday present was new bike, skateboard, and assorted instruments of war (of the GI Joe variety). It was very important that the bike (standard issue BMX) have a hand brake. Apparently that is the big thing these days. When I was nine hand brakes were for girls. Actually, brakes in general were pretty much frowned upon.
What was the "big" milestone age for you?. For me it was 10. I don't know if reaching double figures matters that much today, but to military brats it was huge. 10 was the age when you had to report to billeting and get your very own military ID card. Today, the libertarian in me recoils in horror at the thought of being excited about getting a government ID card. But on base, the card meant freedom. No longer was mom required to escort me to the library, or to the store. With my own ID card, I was free to roam the base at will. And roam we did. I don't care how many ID cards Breck may have, at age 9, he isn't leaving my sight on that bike.
I know we all had more freedom as kids than we will ever give our kids today. I don't know if the world really is that much more scary today than it was in the 70's, when I was exploring the world on my BMX bike. It may have been a scary place on the outside, but inside the confines of a military base surrounded by armed guards and barb wire, I never had a care in the world. I think one of the reasons I am so pro-homeschooling is that maintaining that level of control over the inputs into my kids lives allows us to keep the worries of the world at bay for just a little bit longer. He will have plenty of time to worry about world peace and the environment. At age 9, he should be worrying about mastering a BMX bike with a hand brake.