A recent development made me wonder whether I’m a helicopter mom. My son spent an entire week at The Cowboy’s ranch in the lead up to Christmas. It was the longest unbroken time we’d all spent together, and some remarkable changes were apparent in my son. For example, where Alexander once insisted he would always be only a city boy, this time around he donned his ranch clothes with excitement, and even told us one afternoon that he would like to own a ranch someday. That said, the week wasn’t perfect. There was one incident that set me and The Cowboy against each other, another reminder that in some ways we were still worlds apart in our approach to raising my son. It was afternoon, a bit cloudy, with a snowstorm in the forecast. The ranch owner, Kerry, and his family were visiting from Houston, with their own little boy. David was about my son’s age and, like my son, had very little experience with ranch life. (The Cowboy manages the ranch.) The two kids had hit it off, playing Xbox and throwing a Nerf football around like old pals. When Kerry suggested the boys go off in search of Billy the Kid’s gravestone (which Kerry had crafted himself) out by one of the windmills (about three miles from the house), the boys jumped to the task with excitement. Off they went, together, on their own.