Please indulge me once more as I meander down the memory lane. After all, The business of life is the acquisition of memories.
Regular readers of my blog know that I grew up in a beautiful hill station surrounded by hills, forests, springs and tea estates. Obviously, I spent a good part of this time enjoying my life. I’ve tasted berries whose name I know not, played in the rain, walked through the fog not knowing whether I am heading for a cliff, I have walked and run so far away from home, but nature always guided me back to my home (well, mostly, folks who worked in my parents’ school and realized I was lost), drank water from fresh water springs, cycled on ‘bridges’ made of slender logs, ran helter-skelter after spotting wild boars hiding in bushes.
Maybe, I could have died in a hundred different ways, but I also lived in a thousand beautifully different ways.
Which is why modern parenting makes me stop and think. Do we structure our childrens’ time too much too soon to remove the true benefits of unstructured time? Are we over-protective? So many of the things this article spoke about resonated with me.
I quote from the article:
But today, to keep our kids “safe,” we drive them back and forth to school. “Arrival” and “dismissal” have morphed into “drop-off” and “pick-up.” Kids are delivered like FedEx packages. About 1 in 10 use their legs to get to school.
Do we really need 599 cars dropping off 599 children in a school less than 5 miles from home every morning? What happened to biking, walking or taking a school bus to school? It is no wonder that obesity rates are spiking.
The fact that I don’t see residential neighborhoods filled with children playing on the street saddens me. The only way to change that is to open those doors and step outside. Let children play.