One of the lovely side effects of winter in Minnesota is the icicles. The kids are absolutely fascinated by these dangling ice carrots and can’t wait to use them for sword fights, snow fort decorations and (cringe) tasty popsicles. As the winter drags on, the icicles on the snowy rooftops grow to epic proportions, taunting side walk patrons with impending death should one break off during their gauntlet run to the front door. As I was unloading the car after school yesterday, I heard the kids laughing outside the garage. When I peeked around the corner to see what the commotion was, I saw my three cherubs throwing snowballs at the two foot long ice daggers hanging directly above them. I’m surprised my neighbor seven doors down didn’t come running at the sound of my shrieks. I launched into a lecture about how the kids could have been killed or lost an eye, which triggered body language that obviously said I never let them have any fun. And they were right…I had been reigning in the real fun lately. I grabbed a pole from inside the garage and (somewhat) safely let them take turns at whacking down the icicles. One rebounded and narrowly missed the dog’s tail; another slammed into the bush and shattered the Christmas lights. While there was still part of me that was tentative about the safety of this idea, letting go and joining the fun was worth the risk.