Yesterday, while driving my two younger kids home from seeing Earth to Echo (think E.T. meets Blair Witch Project), I heard an enlightened radio announcer discussing ways to keep our precious children safe this summer. Her ramblings went from bike safety, to proper pool water temperature, to upcoming firework safety. To combat the evils of sparklers, she suggested we poke a hole in the bottom of a perfectly good red solo cup and slide the end of a sparkler through, so a child could reach into the cup, hold onto the sparkler and not get burned (see picture for better explanation).
My first thought, “Well, that makes perfectly good sense.” Then, I began reminiscing about my sparkler days in the front yard- writing my name in the sky, running around with two (maybe even three) lit sparklers in each hand, screaming joy at the one thing that, in my mind, epitomized all the joys of summer. And you know what? I cannot recall ever, ever getting burned! Never, I tell you! We had one cup, possibly a mason jar- and it was filled with water, and all spent sparklers went burned-side down into the jar. Not one, single parent tried to protect our tiny little hands from the devastation of those sparks. Not one, single parent went to Pinterest to discover the latest ways of bubble-fying us, before allowing us any form of joy. And I live to tell you about it.
While I’m on the topic, I also just found out that fortified cereal is now killing our kids. You know, the Trix, Captain Crunch and Booberry (my fav) we all grew up on, because mom said if we wanted a cooked breakfast we’d have to make it on our own, and who ever wanted to do that? The cereal that sometimes substituted for a late night snack or (gasp) even dinner when we were late for mom’s cooking? Now those same cereals are deadly to our offspring. Deadly. Lock them up with the liquor.
Seriously, parents, the only reason people are reporting on these evils of society, is because there’s a large enough audience craving the content. That means you. It might occasionally include me, too. While I am a big proponent of teaching our “younginz” responsibility early on, we’ve got to also let them be kids for Pete’s sake:
- Let them get a burn from the hot end of a sparkler. They’ll be the first to teach a sibling what not to do.
- Let them eat cereal with 30% vitamin A (5% over the kid limit), because sooner, rather than later, someone is going to tell us that their little active bodies never absorbed the darn vitamins and minerals anyway, so fortified anything was a waste (just my guess into the future).
- Let them go swimming in a lake or a pond, it won’t kill them, but the muck on the bottom is worth a million horror films.
- And finally, one that might get me in real trouble- let them bike up the street to their friend’s house without a helmet. Go ahead, I dare you.
PS- I am in no way suggesting you break the law. So before you decide not to buckle Johnny into his car seat, or you send Susie biking across 6 lanes of the Turnpike for milk without a helmet, well…we all own our own stupidity.