Thursday, June 18, 2009
I can remember when I was a kid, and my Dad was teaching me how to ride a bike...he would run beside me for about half a block, steering the bike, and would let go, telling me to steer and peddle. I ended up in the pine tree numerous times before I got it down.
Granted, my Dad did not exactly practice safety, but I survived the bumps, bruises, scrapped knees, elbows, of learning to ride a bike, and for me, and others like me, it was a part of growing up...you fell down, you got up, brushed it off, and went on learning to ride. If it was bad enough to go see Mom, it was a wash of the boo-boo with some soap and water, and a liberal does of this:
We learned to live with the little maladies that came with growing up...
But I digress...
Earlier this evening, while on my front porch enjoying a smoke and an adult beverage, I notice three young kids riding their bikes up and down the side walk. What struck me was not the fact they were riding their bikes, but what they were wearing while riding their bikes.
Each girl, probably about 7-9 years old each, and the younger boy, were wearing a helmet, knee pads, elbow pads, bright fluorescent yellow safety vests (think road workers), and training wheels. I have to say, I was astounded at this safety overkill. I mean, honestly folks, what has happened to this society that we feel the need to protect our kids from each and every ouchie-boo-boo that may come their way from being kids?
It is obscene that parents nowadays deem it necessary to keep kids immune from every childhood mishap, for fear of little Johnny or little Susie being permanently scarred for life because of falling off the monkey bars, burning their ass on a metal slide in the local park on a hot summer day, or having their thighs sticking to the vinyl in the car.
Let kids be kids, bumps, bruises, scrapped knees and elbows, notwithstanding.
They will survive.