I Just Don't Get It...

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.

3 comments:

Billy Ray in Cowtown June 19, 2009 at 8:33 AM  

I flew out to San Jose last month and spent a week with my 11 month old grandaughter. First day alone with her, she stumbled and hit the sidewalk with her face. Big forehead bruis, nose/wrist/knee scrapes. I figured my daughter would put me on a plane back to Texas. She just re-texted me back from work "Poor baby. She gets a lot of bruises."

I gotta say my kid's a throwback. She picks up a dropped pacifier (binky), wipes it on her pants leg and says, "A little dirt can't hurt."

Kids gotta get banged up to grow up. You protect them all the time and they're liable to grow up loony liberals.

See you Sunday. I'm headed to a 40 year class reunion in Sabinal, Tx. I went there in 4th & 5th grade so I know a lot of the kids. It's a small school so they do five grad. years together.

My own graduating class in Utopia was the biggest in years. There were 14 of us. Sabinal usually has about 20 to 30. Mostly ranchers & farm workers. Kids get to start hunting ALONE at around 12 or so.

We used to saddle up and stay out in the pastures from dawn to dusk, playing cowboys and indians on horseback. We'd ride to the river to swim and get a drink of untreated water & smoke pieces of grapevine like cigars. If you broke an arm, you had to get up on the horse to ride back to the house to find someone to take you 40 miles to the nearest doc.

Being a kid in the 50s was great. In second grade, I'd walk all the way across town (Lovington, NM) to play with my best friend. We didn't have phones so you just walked all that way just to see if the other was home. If we each had 50 cents, we'd walk to the theater in the town square and see a movie, eat candy and drink from the fountain.

It wasn't survival... it was just being a kid.

DammitWomann June 21, 2009 at 9:19 PM  

I still yearn for the "kids will be kids" lessons on life. We totally insulate them from every little nuance.

I wish that I had grown up like Billy Ray did - what a blast he had.

Billy Ray in Cowtown June 22, 2009 at 3:55 PM  

Some folks still live this life. My cousins in Utopia have sons and daughters who have never done anything but cowboy down in SW Texas. One recently moved up to Kaufman and his 8 year old son just shot his first wild hog with HIS 22 rifle.

The grandkids load up in their great grandpa's pickup to go feed the goats and sheep. They might talk "Pop" into saddling the horses and off they will go. They aren't allowed to swear around the house, so they might ask Pop if they can go to the corral and cuss. These boys and girls are 4 to 8 years old. They ride in a youth saddle club as a precursor to riding in ranch rodeo.

Ya'll should do July 4 in Utopia, Texas someday. It's just like being in the 50s except the cars and trucks have air conditioning.

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