My grandfather was born in 1919. I never found out whether he enjoyed the same freedom to roam as the great-grandfather depicted; presented as representative of 8 year old’s that year. I don’t know whether letting a child fish 6 miles away was normal or an experience that my own grandfather and his friends shared.
I don’t live in that world.
I can identify with the great grandson, now 8, who can roam to the end of his street. I was allowed outside with my brothers, never alone. We could play in the gated area behind our apartment complex and vague memories tempt me into believing we may have turned a corner to that old park, but six miles was surely out of the question. Who would want to walk that far anyways? We had a community swimming pool (which required adult supervision to use).
Now I regular watch 8 year old’s and 10 and.. I’ve been trying to figure out exactly what my job description might be. The eight year old girl screamed at me yesterday that it was my job, essentially my main goal of the summer, the ultimate priority of the 50 hours I spend with her each week, to make sure she had fun. Oh my dear you are sorely mistaken.
Her brother (10) countered “she’s trying”. Ok thanks for the support, but that’s still a bit off. Fun is a perk.
My job is to watch you?
Stay within eyesight (because you do something stupid or the infamous ‘something bad’ happens and I get blamed, sued, thrown in prison for letting you be children).
It’s gotta be more than that. Raise you no, – care for you. I could go for that one.
(to be continued)
In the meantime: