Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Things I did that my kids will never be allowed to do

There are so many things.

My kids always wear bike helmets, for instance. But in that case, I think it's about knowing better. People didn't think kids should have helmets on back then. Nobody wore helmets. For the most part, the safety patrol in my house growing up is similar to mine now--seatbelts were always worn, long before people had to; we didn't set off our own fireworks now or then; we never swam alone.

I flew alone and my kids don't, but that had more to do with the cost of flying and needing to get places, I think. Although missing connecting flights in Atlanta and being driven around the tarmac by an airport official in a woody station wagon doesn't seem like something that would happen today. Not because I would forbid it, though, just because it seemed ridiculous then, and now it would never ever happen.

I was put on a greyhound bus in the late 80s and sent to a friend's house. THAT WOULD NEVER HAPPEN FOR MY KIDS.

I ate questionable cold cuts.

I had a TV in my room.

I often had a bedroom on the first floor with easy access to the outside world.

But as I sit here in my living room on a rainy Tuesday morning, I realize more than "things I did that my kids will never be allowed to do", my focus is "things that happened to me that I won't let happen to them." It is intertwined of course. And some things cannot be prevented, as much as I long for the control to keep everyone safe, forever, safe and happy and well-adjusted and brave and powerful and loving and perfect.

I have to learn how to let go of that pretend control and let them, bit by bit, learn to live.

But with bike helmets on.

1 comment:

  1. I like this post. It makes me think of an interview I recently heard about a study in Vermont from 20 or 30 years ago, some town, what the kids did—and going back and seeing what those same kids let their kids do and how vastly different it is, despite the fact that the crime rate has actually gone DOWN.