Thursday, January 16, 2014

Spied out the window...

What in the heck?


 Lack of acreage doesn't keep these kids down...

This is what they were playing:

A rousing Thursday afternoon game of Follow the Leader on top of the wall -- with a broom.

Cathy (the leader, of course), Anna, William, and Gabe (bringing up the rear with the broom)
Am I worried about them falling off?  Not much.  Maybe a little.  But, no, not much.  These are country kids and I've watched as they climbed sky-scraper-height trees and scaled rock cliffs.  I figure country kids not only have especially well-honed romping and roaming skills, but their Guardian Angels have learned to be particularly quick on the fly.

And there's this:  Parents have to make judgment calls about safety all the time. It's an important part of our job, perhaps the most important part.  And, to make it all more fun,  the rules change constantly -- as the times change, as the places change, as the children change, as the parents change...  And sometimes you just have to choose what is the greater worry.

When I was a kid, my mom let us kids walk several blocks to school alone (when my brother and I were only six and seven years old!), but we couldn't play anywhere that wasn't within earshot of my mother's voice, and we were never allowed to play inside any little friend's house without specific permission.  It was a comfort zone thing for my Mom.

Fast forward several decades; Dan and I are making safety decisions for our family in the beginning of the twenty-first century now.  Times are definitely scarier, but having always lived in the country, we've felt pretty safe.  We let the kids walk the service roads around the cornfields near our house and explore the nearby meadows, but never alone. And we always required 'touchback' times, requiring to know when the children were going to be home from whatever wandering they were doing. That has been our comfort zone. Perhaps a somewhat loose one for this day and age, actually.

 But, things have changed.  Now, living in the suburbs of "Sin City," we're forced to be on track with the rest of the dangerous world and its worries. Las Vegas is a big city and the suburb where we now live is packed with people we don't know. For their safety, we don't allow the children play in the front yard by themselves and would never let them walk down the street to the park without an adult.  But if they wanted to do cartwheels on that wall in the backyard, I just might let them! Seems like very little risk, relatively speaking.  And kids still gotta be kids. Crazy comfort zone this time and place, eh Guardian Angels?  (Are y'all ready for swimming pool season?)




6 comments:

Charlotte (WaltzingM) said...

So very true. Our circumstances determine the choices we make some times. I remember being horrified to hear about an online friend letting her less than teenaged child do something like take the city bus down to the library. Until I realized that they lived in a much smaller town than we did. I wouldn't let my kids walk on that wall, but they have never been country kids, so their guardian angels aren't in shape. :)

Natalie said...

All I think when I see those pictures is "Chim chimney chim chimney chim chim charoo..." Loved Mary Poppins as a kid.

Cathy Keller said...

Brought back memories of when I was a child and how after dark we could be found playing hid and seek with the neighbors and no on worried we might be injured or assaulted. Those were some fun times!! Fun pics! Thanx for the memories.

Lisa said...

Charlotte -- it really is such a different feeling of vulnerability going from the country to the city! And yeah, I think that regardless of where they are, those Guardian Angels are indispensable! It's good to know they're there -- but also gotta watch that we don't get sloppy because we expect them to pick up our slack, I guess. In that vain, we just had to make some rules about the wall yesterday... The kids were hopping, skipping, and cavorting in such a way that even my country-mom sensibilities were clinging to the edge of their seat. Now they are only allowed to walk sedately or sit on the wall. We'll see how that goes...

Lisa said...

Natalie -- I can't believe I didn't see that! It DOES remind me of the chimney sweep scene, now that you mention it! I love Mary Poppins, too! Did you see "Saving Mr. Banks?"
Such a neat background to the story!

Lisa said...

Cathy -- I know, huh? I miss the days when there were no worries at all and when you felt safe in your own neighborhood!