Monday, September 12, 2011

From 1979

"Is Your Child Ready for 1st Grade?"

Funny how it's the being able to walk around the neighborhood that's talked about. I guess I was a "free-range" kid growing up. My elementary school was just behind the house across the street from us, but due to fences, I walked all the way down the block, turned the corner, down half a block, and across the street. I mostly loved walking to school and back. My best friend and I would always make an adventure out of it.

But, to illustrate just how powerful my fear of Mom was, and how it would have kept me safe, I'll tell one story.

I was probably in 3rd or 4th grade and there was an after school cupcake sale. It was also pouring rain. I had four cupcakes on top of my old metal lunchbox and was walking home. Some lady in a car offered me a ride, and as miserable as I was, I said, "no." I knew I wasn't supposed to get in the car with strangers. Years later when I told my Mom this story, she laughed and said, "but she was a friend of mine," and I said, "well, I didn't know her."

Ok, one more story. At some point around that same time, maybe a little later, three or four guys, probably in their 20's moved into the house two doors down from us. I don't remember much about them, or how long they lived there (not very long), but I remember sitting right in the doorway because I knew there was no way I was allowed to go in that house.

From the time I learned how to ride a bike, I was riding it all over the neighborhood. The only time I got in serious trouble for it was actually for riding down our sloped driveway, out into the street, in front of a car. My Mom happened to see that out of the window, and boy was I in trouble!

I loved spending so much time outside with my friends, riding bikes, exploring places, walking to school and back in all kinds of weather.

I hope to find a way to let Noah have some freedom and adventure!

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