Monday, July 28, 2008

Plastic Lincoln Logs

I worry about my kids as much as the next guy. I want them to be safe and it rips my heart out when they get hurt.

With that said, I think I worry more about what we learned as kids and what they are missing as a result of all this overprotection crap nowadays.

About an hour ago I walked outside to throw dinner on the grill. I usually make a big deal out of this so that my wife sees it as “cooking” and thinks I’m doing my part. But seriously, I toss it on the grill, close the lid and stare at the sky for a bit, flip and repeat. I love to cook.

Anyway, our two youngest offspring (Shoelessboy and Shirtlessboy) were playing on the swing set. They had some rope and made this contraption that looked like the ‘before’ picture in a kids safety brochure. This particular activity required them to stand on a piece of wood, swing down on the rope and traverse through the swings. There were 12 ways to break an arm just in step 1.

My gut reaction of course was to use my dad voice and put a halt to their building project. My mouth was open, I had positioned my body in the “dad” position (hands on hips, head tilted forward and to the side a bit) and instead I let them go for it. There were times while I watched that made me cringe. A foot wrapped around a swing chain here, a leg hanging over the trapeze there. Yet, I fought the urge and just watched.

They did fine, no open fractures, not even a rope burn. And to top it off they were quite proud of what they did.

When I was a kid we didn’t have nets around a trampoline. You fell off, you learned a lesson. You learned that concrete over the speed of 1 mph was not your friend. I learned many, many lessons (some took me more than once to finally understand). I swear the first time I saw a seatbelt was in driver’s education. I thought it was something you could use for leverage to take corners faster.

Here’s my point. You have to screw up a few times to learn. I’d rather raise the next generation with a few bumps and bruises and some level of common sense than to raise them to believe the world is a safe, pillow wrapped place where I’m there to protect them.

The minute they come out with plastic Lincoln logs for safety, I’m freaking outta here.

Now, go hit your brother with this broom stick.

22 comments:

Dana said...

Yeah - I hear ya. Avery has a tricycle and a bike with training wells. I get the look of the devil from other mother's when I gasp* let her ride her tricycle which is 12" off the ground WITHOUT a helmet. Times have changed. It didn't kill us, it won't hurt them either. Totally agree with you!

Texan Mama@WhoPutMeInCharge said...

It is just a matter of time until we are required to wear helmets while driving a car.

I love your blog. You have a new fan. You are SO on my blogroll.

The Kobiske's said...

hahahaha I love it.....

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