We live in a small town but the larger society has invaded. With in my town are six known sex offenders and during most of the year there is booming tourist traffic bringing thousands of people through our town every week. For these reasons I tend to be extremely caution when giving my children freedoms. They are not allowed to even walk to a friends house by themselves. They are always to be with a friend. They call when they arrive and before they leave. Last year after much agonizing I let them ride their bikes to the city library less than a half mile a way on their own. ( I barely survived these weekly excursions and I am sure that I drove the librarian nuts calling each time to make sure they made it there). This year they asked permission to go fishing in a little creek that runs through the edge of town approximately 4 blocks from our house. It sounded like such a tom sawyer thing to do and I immediately pictured my son and daughter, fishing poles in hand laying along a grassy bank enjoying the clouds passing over head. I wanted to say yes so badly that I sent them to their father to ask knowing he would say yes. The mom in me was imaging all kinds of awful situations from drowning in the knee deep water, hooking themselves with the fishing tackle, or God forbid leaches and ticks in the tall grass around the stream. To make it an even smaller town experience our local bait shop will pay the children .35 cents for every chub that they bring in. They will each have to catch 6 chubs to support their weekly summer ice cream habit. The ice cream cones are also conveniently sold at the local bait shop.