Friday, December 26, 2014

Paradise ponders...

Paradise ponders...  Looked out my window today and saw a little girl trudging across our field.  I knew her – it was Allie L., the 8 or 9 year old tomboy in a neighbor's family.  Likely she was returning from a sledding outing – the local kids use a farmer's hill to our northeast.  That hill is something like 3/8 mile from her home, so the round trip is roughly 3/4 mile.  Her path to that sledding hill crosses state highway 165, the busiest route in the area.  The ponder: how differently the parents here treat their kids, as compared to California.  Here it's completely normal for a little girl make a solo journey of nearly a mile, crossing a busy highway.  In California, the parents would likely be at risk of arrest for child neglect and abuse.  Similarly, kids start hunting (with either gun or bow) at quite a young age - girls and boys, at 9 or 10 years old being quite normal.

It's a shame that such normal behavior here is noteworthy.

But it is...

1 comment:

  1. Funny. I had that same conversation with a friend the other day. I grew up in a small town in Iowa and it was pretty common for me to head across town to friend's, or to the junk yard, ice skate on the lake or wander the woods, down to the river etc. from a young age. When I was maybe 12-14, like many of the town kids, I took the NRA hunter's safety course (and wore the patch proudly on my jean jacket) and from then on had free reign to take my dad's guns out. I got my learners permit to drive at 14, though it was common to drive on the farms and big wagon pulling tractors on farm to market roads younger than that. We dug forts, climbed trees all kinds of stuff. We didn't have cell phones of course (in fact my parents had a "party line") so the general rule is let my parents know where I was going and if I changed plans to try and call.