Times have Changed

My little girl started her first day of school today, grade one, numero uno, the beginning of her scholastic career. I think back to when I went to school the first day and it was very different. First off my parents and my best friend Dave’s parents, showed us, before school started how to get  to school, what path to take. So on the first day of school they kicked us out the door and let us walk by ourselves to school. It was not close, it took maybe twenty minutes to a half hour to walk to school through the streets an alley ways of my hometown. I later found out they followed us in the car that first day but still, we walked every school day and I’m sure after that first day they were like “Okay, they got it”. I would never let my little girl walk to school now, of course the city I grew up in was a mere 70,000 people at the time (the city I live in now is just over a million) so that makes a difference, but shows like “To Catch a Predator” and the number of creeps out there freaks me out. I will pick her up everyday if I have to. Of course people will say I am being over protective, but can you blame me?

I remember riding my bike all over the city, looking in abandoned warehouses, dirt piles, construction sites. Dangerous shit, I mean daring your friends to touch the wire laying on the ground or drink the stuff in the corner in the paint can of the dark abandoned building. It’s a wonder not more of us got hurt. It was always some other kid on the other side of town. I think our parents just used that as a scare tactic. I was probably the scare tactic for the kids on the other side of town “That zombie kid is an idiot, he stuck his head in a bee hive and his face swelled up so much they had to feed him through a tube they stuck up his butt.” Parents will say anything to freak you out when your a kid to keep you on the straight and narrow. Trust me I am a parent now and it works. “Don’t bite your nails, there’s spider eggs under there” or “Don’t eat the white part of the watermelon, you’ll get worms” to this day the white part of watermelon freaks me out.

But I think you have to scare your kids a little, make them fear the big bad world. Make them respect it, then accept it. Even at my age I would rather fear something going in, then realize it’s not that big of deal. Like George Clooney says in Three Kings “The way it works is, you do the thing you’re scared shitless of, and you get the courage AFTER you do it, not before you do it.” So maybe it’s me that is scared of the world and I should look at it more like my little girl, be a little more trusting, nah, like I said in my last post, to many fucked up people. And when I am telling my daughter to be careful and not take candy from strangers and not to get into anyone’s car and she makes a face at me like I’m being paranoid and rolls her eyes, I will say “If you’re not careful your face will freeze like that.” Then I will sit back, put my feet up, smile and thank my parents for scaring the shit out of me too.

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