March 29, 2009

The Bicycle

To me the most challenging part of blogging is the aggravation I feel when the words don't flow from my fingertips. That is because writing is something that is easy for me. It usually doesn't require much effort for me to construct these posts. I just sit down and start typing.

And while I have often wished that I was a better writer I rarely find myself comparing my ability to another. I do what I do and most of the time that suffices. Parenting is a different story altogether.

I think that I am a good father. My children are happy and well adjusted, but it is hard not to second guess decisions. It is hard not to wonder about some things. It is hard not to look at my own childhood and feel badly that my children don't have everything that I had.

Let me clarify what I mean by that. From a number of perspectives they have far more than my siblings and I ever did. They have plenty of toys and have had many experiences that I didn't get to participate in. But there are some significant things that they don't have.

I grew up in a world in which we played outside without supervision. I grew up in a world in which we rode our bikes anywhere and everywhere. I have memories of our mothers coming outside to call us in for dinner. If I close my eyes I can hear their voices and hear us yelling back that we'd come home soon.

My kids don't have that. We live in a safe neighborhood but it is a time when parents don't parent the way ours did. It is a time of fear and uncertainty. You just don't see elementary school age children walking to school, not the way that we did. And that makes me sad.

When they get a bit older they'll be able to do it. When they get a bit older it will be easier to let them go do some of these things on their own. So it is not as if it won't ever happen, it is just going to take a bit longer for them to do this than it did for us.

So while the world may have progressed well beyond where it was when I was a child this is one area that it has not and that really is too bad. It is a big loss. And that is part of why I sometimes find myself thinking hard about moving to a place where they can have that, but where that is I am not really sure.


Jack said...

I try to do my best.

Jack said...

Teaching the kids street smarts is something that I think about all the time. I don't want them to always have to rely upon their mother and I for everything.

At some point they have to be able to stand on their own. It is not so much that I fear that they won't but I want to start them on it earlier, rather than later.