Thursday, June 30, 2016

Just Being a Kid is Hard Today

Let me start out by saying that, as a kid, I pretty much was outside all-day in the summer and only thought about going home to eat and to be there when the street light came on (which we do not have in my area now).  During the school year, I walked to school from third grade through sixth grade. The school was about 3/4 of a mile away.  So, from the age of seven, I was pretty independent.

Nowadays it is much different.  We have instilled this fear in parents that our children are only safe if they are firmly attached to the parent or guardian.  No playing in the park without an adult standing next to them.  No going to the beach on a school trip less the sun damage them.  No walking to school alone because they may be grabbed by a pervert.

If you think I am exaggerating, I am not.  One of the blogs I follow on a daily basis is Free Range Kids.  I learn this stuff there and do a head-smack every time I read a post.

Today I read of an IKEA recall of dressers that may topple over and kill a child.  29,000,000 dressers to be precise.  Three deaths.  27 years of sales.

I can only imagine that at some point we will all be told to nail down everything that may possibly move.  My HDTV is too heavy for me to budge and I cannot fathom how a toddler can 'tip' it over, yet we are told to secure it firmly to whatever it is sitting on.

I raised three boys and saw my share of mishaps.  The older two boys were playing in one of those small wading pools that kids have.  One grabbed a toy and clonked the other one on the head.  In the ER, my husband and I were treated like criminals (this was around 1982?) for allowing this to happen.  I can only imagine that today we would be reported to child services if not arrested on the spot for negligence.

My oldest fell off his bike as a pre-teen and injured his shoulder, but neglected to tell anyone he was hurt cause he wanted to stay at his friend's house for the week-end instead of going to the ER.  I wondered why he was walking with his arm close to his side when I picked him up and that is when we knew something was wrong.  He had told the other mom he was just fine.

My youngest son, Charlie's dad, was the worst of the three.  There was the dive into the bathtub with a cut on the forehead.  There was going down the slide head first, with a cut on the chin.  There were the soccer injuries.  When he was about five, he was playing in the family room and I was in the room talking with a neighbor.  My friend said to me to turn around slowly and see what he was doing, but do not spook him or freak out.   My heart jumped.  There he was walking the banister over the open stairwell.


Fortunately, he got down and nothing happened.  He didn't see what the problem was.  And the apple doesn't fall to far from the tree.  Charlie has no fear and does all sorts of idiotic stuff.  He thought he might try to hang off the ledge of the climbing structure in the park.  The 5 foot high ledge.  I grabbed him and told him 'NO', which he thought was fun.  Go figure.

His mom dropped him off Monday with a bruised knee and a bump on the head from a visit to the local water park.  Yesterday, he decided to try surfing on his small wagon bed and fell off scraping his forehead.  That did seem to put some fear into him.  (should we recall all toy wagons?)

Children and adolescents will do all sorts of crazy stuff.  It is part of learning and growing up.  The experiences force them to think about consequences before they do something stupid in the future.  It is always sad when children die or are seriously injured and my heart would surely break if it happened to me.  But we cannot expect our children to be responsible adults if we do not allow them to have any responsibility as they grow up.

Walking to school, playing in the park, swimming on a beach, riding a bike (even if as an adult you admit that you got lost a few times riding around the subdivision).  It's your childhood.  You need to live it as a child, not a puppet attached by strings to mom and dad.

Just my opinion, of course.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Wednesday Hodgepodge

Many moons ago I think I participated in some Wednesday Hodgepodge, but it was quite a while back.   I read the questions yesterday and thought that rather than post a pic of flowers eaten by the deer, I'd answer some questions instead.  So, here goes.

1. It's officially summer (in the northern hemisphere anyway). Which summer month is best and why? 
I love July because all of the daylilies are blooming.  I have moved almost all of them to the fenced back yard to get them away from the deer.  I am so-o-o-o sick of deer.  Ugh!

2. Can you swim? How did you learn? June 27th is National Sunglasses Day. How many pair do you own?
I can swim.  It was required to have one full semester of swimming when I was in high school.  I got my life-saving certificate.  I HATE swimming even if I am good at it.  I just don't like the water.  
I have three pairs of sunglasses, including one pair from the 1970s which a friend refers to as my 'Jackie O's'.

3. What characteristic do you judge most harshly in yourself? How about in others?
I'm very out-spoken, but I do not judge it harshly, though others may.  I cannot tolerate racial and ethnic slurs, but I tend to hold my tongue rather than get into it with someone who is probably too ignorant to understand my feelings.  And thus I judge my silence harshly when I should be speaking up.

4. Robert Frost wrote the now well known poem entitled The Road Not Taken. What's a road (literal or figurative) you've always wanted to travel, and where do you hope it takes you? 
I've always wanted to drive the Trans-Canada Hwy from Calgary north through the Canadian Rockies all the way to Jasper.  It is probably the only road trip I will never finish.

5. Popsicles-yay or nay? If you answered yay, what's your favorite flavor?  Nay, nay, nay.

6. Brexit-on a scale of 1-10 how knowledgeable are you on what's involved here? (1=very knowledgeable and 10=what's Brexit) Is this news you'll follow or is it something you think won't impact your life in any way shape or form?
Should I say a 1?  I am pretty knowledgable, unlike the voters who Googled 'What is the EU?' AFTER the vote.  Are you kidding me???  I'll keep following what is going on especially as it concerns both my international and domestic investments.

7. Share a favorite song on your summer play list.
Play list?  Is that what I do with Charlie when we sing the ABC's?  Or 'Itsy, Bitsy, Spider?'

8. Insert your own random thought here.
Speaking of Brexit:  Independence is what the United States got from Britain in the 1776 Revolutionary War.  We, along with more than 40 countries and territories, have gotten independence from Britain.  Britain is already independent and now that they are leaving the EU, they will really discover how independent they will have to be in the future.