Friday, July 10, 2009

teach your children well

my mother used to send us out to play in our back yard and lock us out of the house with a hook and eye on the screen door ... the back yard had a chain link fence all the way around it and a big gate in front of the carport ... we never, never, never played in the street ... the one time that i sneaked out to play on the drive with the skateboard my brothers made out of one of my roller skates, a two by four, and a couple of nails - never did get my skate back the skateboard flew out from under me ... it shot out into the street and was narrowly missed by a poor woman driving down the road just trying to get home - it prolly took four or five years off the end of her life and i did a belly flop onto the cement driveway ... my jaw snapped up, i bit my tongue, the wind was knocked out of me and i thought i was dying ...... you can prolly guess what my mother had to say about sneaking out of the yard and playing in the street and it served me right and so what if every other kid in the neighborhood plays in their front yards and if every other kid in the neighborhood jumped off a cliff would i jump off a cliff, too? anywho ... we didn't play in the street because our parents taught us that it was not a good idea to trust our lives to distracted drivers trying to make their way home at the end of a long day...the kids do wear helmets most of the time - their parents are not complete idiots
...right around 4 in the afternoon the little people who live around here come out with their bikes and trikes and big wheels and scooters and skateboards and wagons ... and their mothers put out signs to let the rest of the world know that the street is now a playground ... never mind the fact that there is a park with fields of grass for soccer games and trees to climb and a baseball field and swings and slides and monkey bars and lots of pavement for basketball games and tether ball and learning to ride bikes less than four blocks away ... and drivers need to get off the road...
...most of my neighbors in this (mostly) quiet little suburb are educated, professional people ... they have degrees ... there are teachers and regional managers and nurses and administrators and engineers and even a couple of professors...
...they know better and they oughta do better ... within five minutes of taking these pictures, the street was filled with makeshift ramps and a dozen little strawberry beggars who are not learning one of life's big lessons ... it is hard to pump up a smashed kid

2 comments:

ranette said...

You should print off a copy of this post and put it in their mailboxes. You'd think that your neighbors and mine would have more common sense than they do, but nope they don't.

Kim said...

People are idiots. And, by the way--WHAT DO PEOPLE DO WITH THEIR BACKYARDS THESE DAYS?! They aren't freakin using them, so what do they do? Sometimes I get a little nuts and think it might be a good idea to take out a toddler just to prove a point, but luckily sanity returns--to me, anyway, if not to my neighbors!