Do you remember,
as a child,
...running under the sprinkler,
playing for hours in the heat of summer,
without regard for water shortage or cost?...
...eating whatever food came your way
without worrying about trans fats, artificial colourings, additives or use of growth promotants?...
(image from images.businessweek.com)
...running to catch the plane with your pocket knife in your pocket
and no security checks to slow you down,
not fearing catching any contagious disease from your fellow passengers?...
...flaunting your body in the sun without any fear beyond some painful sunburn?...
(image from cosmosmagazine.com)
...watching music videos on telly where the most offensive thing
to a 10 year old were the flares, tassles and sequins?...
...living in a time when the words "global warming" and "carbon footprint"
weren't part of everyday language?...
...when your folks pushed you out the door in the morning
and you wandered back in sometime late in the day when you'd finished playing with your mates
around the neighbourhood, and were hungry, dirty, tired, and happy?...
I remember those times as I answer the question of my 7 year old who wants to know why there is so much security at airports.
I think about them as I explain to my kids why they need to wear hats and sunscreen if
they want to play out in the sun.
I appreciate my childhood as I tell my children what makes some foods good for them
and others, really bad.
I cherish those few times that we can pull out the water slide in the backyard
and let the kids use it for a little while
without concern for wasted water or breaking the law.
I am in wonder that teaching our kids about
recycling, wastage and the conservation of our planet
is a part of their learning process from the word go;
that it is a fact of life.
I am a little melancholy when I remember my holiday days
wandering off with friends to catch tadpoles,
or wander through the neighbourhood fields
as I try to explain the idea of "stranger danger" without scaring my children.
Don't get me wrong.
My kids are having a pretty good childhood.
There are so many opportunities and options today,
improved health and medical care,
increased acceptance of minority groups,
more freedom to live your life as you see fit without being judged
and amazing access to resources and the world.
But I am a little sad that the world has changed forever
and that it is a fact of life that our responsibilites have changed and increased.
Our kids are growing up with
an awareness of what we need to do to look after our planet and each other.
Something that we adults have really only had to learn in the past 10 years or so.
I'd go and treat my melancholy with an iced donut...
if I didn't know about those bloody trans fats.