I live in Pleasantville. It's called The Woodlands Township, but it's Pleasantville. Kids can walk or ride their bikes to school, though buses are available--even if you live right next door to the campus.
We have dog parks, skate parks, soccer parks. The other day I went for a run of about three-and-a-half miles and passed three parks along the way.
People leave their doors unlocked. That is the true measure of a civilized community, after all.
But there is another side to our township. There would have to be. We've all become somewhat inured to the fact that teenagers will find ways to drink or use drugs or have sex or whatever it is they are woefully too young to do with any hope of understanding the consequences. Sure. We get it.
But the other day something happened that has kind of shattered my peace of mind. Someone shot my neighbor's cat with a pellet gun, at around 6:30 in the morning. It was a close-range shot, according to the vet. It happened...well, pretty much right on our street. And we live on a cul-de-sac. At the bottom of the curve.
My 16-year-old is frustrated becuase we'll never know who did it. I told her that was true. But the guilty party will know; and more importantly, he or she will know for the rest of his or her hateful life.
As punishments go, it's actually pretty stiff.