The Joy Of Wandering Around Aimlessly As A Kid

3 years, 3 months.

Dear Jack,

This week I happened to read a really cool article that is going viral right now, called “Things I Did As A Kid (But My Kids Won’t)“,  by Amber Dusick.

She explains how parents born in the 1980s, such as myself, were basically the last generation of children to enjoy no seat belts, no helmets, no childproofing, flying attempts, (certain) playground equipment, sledding, and freedom.

What I see that all 7 of the things have in common is that they all are related to safety.

In other words, if I raised you by the same standards of safety that were okay in 198os in the mountains of Alabama when and where I grew up, I would be considered (by some, at least) as a bad parent.

That sounds weird to say because in no way is it to discredit the parents who raised Generation Y; it’s just that things are a lot different now.

Out of the 7 things that Amber Dusick describes in her article, the one that jumps out to me as the most valuable is… freedom:

“Perhaps the most striking contrast is the freedom I remember having. I’d eat breakfast and then leave.

I’d wander around. Aimlessly. Sometimes with neighborhood kids and sometimes alone. I’d cross our creek with homemade bridges. And catch turtles without ever hearing of the word Salmonella.

I’d put roller skates on and skate down sidewalks. And stop myself by crashing into a bush, just before the street.

I never stopped to eat lunch. Because I remember being out all day long. Only to be called in for dinner when it was getting dark.

My kids? Yeah, right. At least not until they are older. Like thirty.”

During my own childhood, I had the privilege of riding my bike, as well as my moped, through nearby neighborhoods. I explored the woods with my friends. I went around shooting my BB gun at power poles and metal fences.

I totally know what the author means when she refers to wandering around aimlessly as a kid. I loved doing that!

Almost seems almost like taboo now.

I want you to be able to have the kind of adventurous boyhood I had, and you will, just in a different format… somehow.

We’ll have to make a few changes, but we’ll find a way to make it work.

Even then, it’s hard to imagine you ever wandering around in the woods like I did. Double standard, I know.

 

Love,

Daddy

 

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