I am a pretty liberal mom.I grew up with the TV babysitting me and I was classified as a latch key kid. I even slept all night with the TV on. I know, not good for that subliminal timing and interrupting deep REM sleeping, but I was young and my mom was a local singer in clubs. I was alone a lot. But, I turned out great. I used to wear my Wonder Woman Underoos and steal my mom's silver bracelets and run around the neighborhood looking for my invisible plane. Only occasionally did I play door bell ditch and I never once got caught doing it. There was the ruins of a garage across the street and I used to rummage through the remains and some of the wiring still had charge and I would put my finger on it and pretend I had my superhero powers reignited. I had a great imagination as a kid and I read a lot. I still do. At least two books a week. I make sure that my kids have a huge interest in reading and they always get new books and we discuss what they are reading now.
This generation is hard to fight though. EVERYTHING is technology and already figured out for them on some game system, hand held computer or PDA. My thirteen year old can figure out issues on the computer and always takes my cell phone from me and says, "Mom just give it to me I will show you how to do it." Seriously? When did I become a dinosaur? From the early 90's through today, technology has literally puked all over us.
I hate that only one of my kids knows how to ride a bike. When I grew up, I don't think there was anyone who didn't have a bike and didn't have to go to the store and pick up something for their mom like a loaf of bread, some butter or milk. I am scared to even send my daughter into the store and return last nights movie rental. I can't let my kids roam the neighborhood while I am at work, something I did as a kid. If they want to go to the park, we have to go together. Megan's Law has proven so helpful, but it also adds the fear that there are actually registered freaks living blocks and miles around me.
Maybe one day recently I just woke up and wasn't young and innocent anymore. Sadly, I don't feel like kids today get the chance to be young themselves. Did my parents look at me and feel the same way while I was growing up? I doubt it, at least not on the level I get to experience raising children in the 21st century. Like Katherine says in Under The Tuscan Sun,"Never lose your childish innocence. It's the most important thing." Rest assured, it is the most important thing to me as a mommy. Maybe my kids can't live free like I did as a flower child of the hippie generation, but I can guarantee that my babies are growing up laughing and being loved.