Tuesday, February 1, 2011


I'm wishing for a backyard that isn't covered in dog poo so I could just kick my kids outside at any time. I suppose I could send them out front, but there is this whole "scare thing" we have with kids playing in the front unsupervised. This makes me angry because of "thegoodolddays" (when did I become old?) I spent my life outside, running around the neighborhood without worry about my safety or strangers. I was well versed in "stranger-danger", but it wasn't necessary where I grew up.

I miss that for my kids.

We have a lovely neighborhood with great neighbors, but one of us is on the stoop while our kids play...always. We live two blocks away from a park, but I don't know if I can just send my kids up there to play like my mom sent us out to play. The short answer is I can't...which is sad, so sad. I learned so many lessons playing with my friends outside with no adults around. We learned to manage our disagreements without intervention. We deciphered which injuries were worthy of tears and which were not. We learned how to stay away from bullies, how to make new friends, and how to have fun without someone telling us how. We learned how to maneuver around our neighborhood on our bikes like ninjas!

Right now my kids are playing in the snow out front. I'm typing on the bench next to the window with it cracked just enough to hear their every word. It's a step. It's a start. I hope with our neighborhood association we continue to build a community in which it is okay to send our kids out to play. That we have each other's backs. That we take care of our neighborhood kids so they too can be free within safety. Free within reason. Free to learn to play in the wonderful world of childhood.


Dawn said...


I encourage you to check out the above website. It's helped me back down from some of my rules about 'unsupervised' play and where I should really focus my energy.

Heather said...

We are lucky to live outside the city and have a large yard. I feel confident I can send my Bigs outside without worry of what the neighbors or passers by are doing. If I lived near you, I would have more concerns...and yes, it is sad. The few bad spoil it for the rest.

Jules said...

Dawn, THANK YOU! I love this site! It is right up there in my thinking about all of this :)