Posted by: Andrea | May 7, 2008

No bikes for you!

I was walking home from my run tonight (yes, I run and then I walk home, don’t ask…) when I passed by a little girl and her mum.  The little girl looked like she was around five, say kindergarten age.  As I was walking by, the mum was saying, ‘now remember, you don’t run on pavement!’  I was thinking, um, what?!  You don’t run on pavement?  What kind of weirdo rule is that?  I immediately flashed back to when I was around five and attending kindergarten.  I would take the local public school bus then walk across the street to my private school to get to class.  My strongest memory of this time of my life was running up the big hill to the school door and praying I wouldn’t fall.  Again.  I still have scars on my knees from where I picked off the scabs when I was bored in class.  Yes, yes, I was that girl.  But even if I did fall and scrape my knees, I’d never ever have wanted to give up that exhilirating run.  I absolutely loved running up that hill every day, with my pigtails streaming behind me and my book bag banging against my back with every step.  I bet that little girl never gets to walk a single block by herself, never mind to school.  

I was reading an article in the paper this week that says most parents are stopping their children from doing things because they’re afraid of them getting hurt.  That most parents learned to ride a bike by the age of 10.  Now most of them won’t let their children learn to ride a bike until they’re 12.  I mean come on!  The way kids are going these days most of them know the ins and outs of having sex at 12, much less riding a bike.  It made me very sad and not a bit nostalgic for my own childhood.  I feel, looking back, that we were given much more freedom while at the same time being much more sheltered from the bad stuff in life.  When I was a kid I genuinely thought that children were kidnapped because the kidnappers couldn’t have their own children and wanted some.  I know the world is a scary place, we only have to pick up the newspaper to figure that out.  But I just hope that someday I remember how much I loved my freedoms as a child and give my children the same experiences I had.  Even if it is scary for parents, children will appreciate it so much when they get older.  At least that way kids will be out riding bikes or running around and playing instead of sitting around with their playstations.  And that way they might just get some cool scars out of it!  School can be pretty boring sometimes.



  1. i don’t walk home from runs, like i do not run someplace and walk home. But I do walk the last few blocks of it. It would be odd to run straight to the house.

  2. Isn’t it sad to think that, while our parents would kick us out of the house and say “Go play!”, today’s parents are too afraid to let kids out of their sights (let alone going to play outside). If a parent did that today, someone would probably call CPS and accuse them of neglect.

    Its a sad world….

  3. Actually, a family here in Scotland made the papers because they were warned their children would be taken away from them and put in foster care if they didn’t lose weight. Their four year old weighed over a hundred pounds. But in an article with them, while they said they were doing their best to help their children lose weight, they didn’t allow them to go outside to play because it was too dangerous. So as much as you can try with diet, if you’re just sitting around on the couch watching tv it’s going to be a hard battle. And yes, I’ll agree that at lot of the housing estates around here can be very dangerous, but still. It made me sad thinking of that whole family sitting inside watching tv and never leaving the house.

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