Editorial: A bike, $15 and a friend

It’s a commonly known fact that Wilton all but empties of residents during the summer months.

Police respond to fewer calls, schools are closed, the newspapers get smaller, and your teenagers keep complaining about how bored they are.

Though summer seems to bring with it a lack of fun activities in town (other than a soak in Merwin Meadows), concerned parents certainly have some choice in helping the kids have an enjoyable break from school. The best part? The most memorable of those choices is nearly free.

Perhaps the most obvious, and most cost-effective summertime activity is to simply lock your child outside your house with a bicycle, a helmet, $15, and a less mature friend.

Literally lock them out.

Really.

With the bicycle they can ride far and wide across town — even if they wimp out and walk up some of the steeper hills.

They can take in the architectural remains at Quarryhead State Park, or try and find Native American relics in the town forest.

Maybe they’ll even see a deer or two and chase them into the woods until  they’re out of breath and sweating. (Don’t worry, they’ll find their way out.)

They can cruise to the Norwalk River and skip rocks, try catching trout with their bare hands, or ride around the newly finished Valley Trail demonstration loop.

With the $15, they can get a refreshing juice drink in the Village Market, or buy a poorly made PG-13 movie at CVS and not tell you about it.

They can get goofy iPhone pictures printed at Wilton Center Photo and hang them on their walls when they finally get home.

The secret to all these wonderful plans is that you don’t have to make any of them. Just leave it up to your kids, they’re smarter — and safer — than you think. They can scrape their knees, get dirty, rebel against their parents and get some exercise in a single summer day all without causing any serious harm or injury.

And, when everyone asks your secret to a happy teenager during the summer, you’ll seem like you’ve got it all worked out.

Just tell them it’s “a bike, $15, and a friend.”