Thursday, April 16, 2015

So I am not The Lone Free Ranger

"We refuse to deprive our children of critical opportunities to develop responsibility and independence, and have no intention of fundamentally changing our parenting to accommodate this kind of paranoia and bullying," Danielle Meitiv wrote.

Heard about the couple who let their kids run free have you?  They are taking some heat from breeders and squares.

I was a free range parent long before Daniell Meitiv. They are very caring. I just did not shive-a-git about where and when my three children moved about and even suggested neat  urban adventures.  I love them so much that I gave them the keys to the City of Chicago.

"Dad, I took the Halsted Bus all the way to Irving Park Road and then walked through Uptown! You were right! There are so many Native Americans! They were literally lying on the street, " sang my elder female child and eldest of the three. Nora was 13 at the time and going into her freshman year at Mother McAuley Liberal Arts High School and she would need a full and robust immersion among real people and not just protected, pampered and button-down NorthFace BevRat Irish Catholics. I suggested a daily routine of inner-city immersions, or personal flights of challenge.  I said, "Explore! Advocate! Challenge! Be Your Bliss!"

No hand holding here.

I opened the car door at 75th & Cottage Grove and said, " Ask the folks over by the Courtesty Exchange for a conversation about Race, Honey I'll pick you up 5:30 P.M.  unless someone offers you a ride home.!" I then zoomed off to Jimmy's Woodlawn Tap for the next six hours where I sampled IPAs in their infancy and chatted up the locals. Good jukebox.

My second child, a Mannish boy of 8 back then,  was treated to a night alone in Elizabeth Conkey Woods Forest Preserve.  " Hey, buddy!  You'll thank me, later.  It is going to get a bit air-ish at sundown; so, don't get all sweaty chasing ground squirrels.  Here's a bag of cucumber sandwiches and a canteen full of Sun Tea. Hey, why the long puss?  You are  21st Century Man there are porta-potties all over the grounds.I'll get you at 9AM and let you sleep in a bit."  My son never mentioned that wonderful night out.  He never mentions anything to me.

My baby girl was two when my wife died and so I home schooled herself.  She was like that little girl Matilda. *

Free Range, Baby!

Why bother teaching your kids anything about American history, responsibility, good manners, taste in books, art and film, reverence for virtue, piety and the sanctity of each human life from womb to doom?  We are evolving.

* Fine film

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