Wednesday, June 24, 2009

summer accidents

read an article in the oklahoman this week about how the writer doesn't think kids play outside enough and they're just sitting around playing video games and facebooking and twittering. well, that may be true, but i still see, and generally comment positively on, kids who have the kinds of summer accidents we used to have. like stepping on a piece of glass in the creek that's usually dried up but it had rained recently and there were some crawdads and tadpoles and we were catching them and then we started playing swordfight with some sticks we found and maybe somebody got poked in the eye but then we used the sticks like rifles and played army for a while and then got into some poison ivy but the shot doesn't hurt that much and besides i kinda like that pink stuff and we went on a hike because we had these cool walking sticks/swords/rifles and nothing else to do but have fun and imagine ourselves as adventurers like lewis and whoever and we found all kinds of cool stuff and almost caught a lizard and threw rocks at a sign and one kid got hit in the head but we don't think he will need stitches and decided not to swim in the deep part of the creek because there were some bubbles that kinda looked like pee up by the edge and that was gross and then we climbed a tree and that was cool until another kid fell out and i hope he doesn't have his cast for the whole summer but man, we had fun.
those were the days. and they're not gone. just to reassure you. kids are still kids if their parents will let them and i know you can't just let them wander around like you used to when you were a kid and there are infections and perverts and toxins in the water and west nile virus and rocky mountain spotted fever ticks and any number of other scary things out there, but kids need to play in puddles and swordfight and play army and throw rocks and not have plans all the time like soccer practice and be kids.
one of the first blogs in this long line was 'the rant' and it's this exact mood i'm getting at here. i'd love to see a few more sets of stitches and the occasional piece of glass in the foot and poison ivy and maybe a broken arm instead of chronic stomachaches and headaches and trouble sleeping and trouble concentrating and (now i'm going to offend, sorry) fights over what johnny gets to do at dad's house that he isn't allowed to do at mom's and maybe the stomachache is from worrying whether he can tell his 'primary custodial parent' how much fun he had at his 'noncustodial parent's' house over the weekend without hurting her feelings or getting his noncustodial parent in trouble with mom's lawyer. there, i feel better.
and this is a good time to rant on something else. today's paper has two articles, both about dead kids, one who drowned and one who was shaken to death. both kids were allegedly killed by men in their mothers' lives, one was actually the father, one her boyfriend. the one who was the father had already abused a kid, but hey, it was over 10 years ago 'and he's changed'. and i'm sure there were protests of 'but i love him'. oh please, ladies! i'm sure there are boyfriends out there who won't kill your kids, but be careful. and the ex-wife of the drowned kid is defending her ex, and in a move that actually made sense for once, dhs took her other kid away.
this story plays out over and over. i caution guys - if you've got a girlfriend with a child, be careful. first, don't kill them. but seriously, don't be left alone with the child and consider every potential problem with every situation when you are with that child. statistically you are the prime suspect if that kid is abused or killed or if anything happens. apparently (and here i'm going to get in trouble again) girls don't think too clearly when it comes to guys.

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