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To Kid Or Not To Kid?

For the record, my kids are my life. Alex, my 26-year-old son—a project manager for an expansive international marketing company—gets back from a three-month adventure in Central and South America this weekend and I can’t wait to hear about it in person. My 22-year-old, Anna Rose—who is graduating early and cum laude from Goucher College in Maryland—just returned from my home in Northern California to New York City to start her job as a special education teacher.

kid mattoso

A recent conversation among poker-run organizers on attendance age-limits raised great questions. Photo courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.

Yeah, you guessed correctly, I’m a teensy bit proud. But here’s the thing.

They’re not kids. Alex and Anna Rose are young adults. They can make their own choices, and through no fault of mine they tend to make good ones. And because they are young adults and good decision-makers, each of them has accompanied me to a go-fast boating event I was covering.

That’s not something I would have done before both were out of high school and at least 18 years old. We all parent differently and have different thresholds on what we will expose our kids to. But for where they were emotionally and intellectually when they were kids, those environments would have been inappropriate in my parental view.

A recent conversation among the members of the American Poker Run Organization on exactly this subject started me down this ponderous path. 

An off-the-water incident involving a minor caused an injury and property damage during a poker-run weekend in 2019. The organizer is considering an age limit—no attendee or participant less than 18 years old at this year’s event—and wanted feedback from the group.

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