This month the From Left to Write Book Club is reading If I Fall, I Die, by Michael Christie. It’s about a young boy whose mother has such severe agoraphobia, he spends most of his childhood inside. It’s not until one brave day, when Will ventures outside to investigate a noise that his whole world opens up.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people my age and older tell their children “When I was young, I played outside all day.” “I didn’t have a cell phone. When my mom needed me, she stepped outside and called my name.” “I didn’t need my parents to drive me anywhere either, I had a bicycle!”
I am guilty of this as well. I routinely watch my kids roll their eyes at me when I recall the days of my youth, when I rode my bike to my friend’s house, or practiced roller skating in the street outside my house.
I hear people say that the world was so much safer back then. I don’t believe that to be true.
When I was a child, there were weirdos who drove white vans and tried to lure you in with candy, or puppies and then do terrible things to you. My friends and I knew about them, and stayed away from white vans. There were murders and rapists, psychopaths and religious extremists too.
What I truly believe, is that there appears to be more danger in the world because we are more aware of it. Dangerous people are celebritized (is that even a word?) and worshipped. Worse yet, after they’ve been made famous for a crime committed, they are deemed “not guilty” or “rehabilitated” and released back in to the world.
They are released back in to the world where our children are playing, and growing, and living. I’m not sure that I would rather be ignorant of the goings on around us, but why SHOULDN’T I be afraid to let my children play outside? Why SHOULDN’T I be terrified to let them out of my sight? Believe me, I am.
But I know I have to let them go to experience the world as I never have. I hope they travel and see sights I could only dream of. I hope they discover new and amazing things about themselves everyday. I hope everyday of their lives is an adventure.
And I also hope that when they do leave the nest, that I have taught them enough to be prepared for any situation. I hope they know how to handle heartbreak and anguish. I hope they know how to handle happiness and joy. And I hope they know how to handle fear and anger too. That they keep a level head and think before acting or saying.
I can only hope that I’m doing it right. I think I’ve done ok so far…
This is an original ROSCMM post. This post was written for the From Left to Write Book Club and was inspired by If I Fall, I Die by Michael Christie, a copy of which I received for review purposes. All opinions are that of Jennifer herself unless otherwise noted.
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