“Grown-ups never understand anything by themselves, and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explaining things to them”
~ Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
When I was kid, I used to climb so far up into the trees that the ground would blur from view.
And, when I was a child I would set out on foot, deep into the farthest acreage of our woods and completely unattended for the simple chance to catch a salamander by the tail.
When Saturday mornings were spent staring blindly, and ‘too close’ into the television—and with a half-eaten bowl of sugary cereal in our lap.
Oh, and how many days did I drive dirt so far up under my nails…that my mother would question if my fingertips might ever see pink, once again.
I tore up my pants, and scraped up both knees, ate things I shouldn’t have, and rode my bike without ever thinking… that it’s much too dangerous these days to be a kid.
But, these days? Being a kid has been legislated. And, by the very same government that had such a hard time coming to the middle-meeting point where justice had no place.
Today, I read an article about the United State Postal Service—an agency, which has faced the threat of imminent closure more times that my simple mind can remember. Some even say, the days of “neither snow nor rain…nor gloom of night” are quickly fading into obsolescence.”
And, with a budget that is currently $4 billion in the red, perhaps, these folks are correct.
Nevertheless, I believe sometimes we tend to make much ado, about nothing.
In this case, the USPS was directed by the President’s Council on Fitness to destroy stamps which depict kids being kids. Why? Because, the Government has deemed the activities represented on the stamps to be ‘unsafe’ for children.
“The “Just Move” collection of stamps were intended to promote the government’s “Let’s Move” campaign advocating physical fitness, a cause championed by first lady Michelle Obama.
But three of the 15 colorful stamps allegedly show behavior the White House deems unacceptable — skateboarding without knee pads, doing a ‘cannonball’ into a pool, and performing a handstand without a helmet.”
I’m wondering what you might think? Are we keeping our kids safe, or simply legislating childhood?
And, I do hope you’ll not mind that I am posting what I feel to be a immediately relevant, and brilliantly mindful passage by Shel Silverstein… “I can not go to school today…”
Oh, and just when did these joy-brimmed childhood days slip away… ?
“I cannot go to school today
Said little Peggy Ann McKay.
“I have the measles and the mumps,
A gash, a rash and purple bumps.
My mouth is wet, my throat is dry.
I’m going blind in my right eye.
My tonsils are as big as rocks,
I’ve counted sixteen chicken pox.
And there’s one more – that’s seventeen,
And don’t you think my face looks green?
My leg is cut, my eyes are blue,
It might be the instamatic flu.
I cough and sneeze and gasp and choke,
I’m sure that my left leg is broke.
My hip hurts when I move my chin,
My belly button’s caving in.
My back is wrenched, my ankle’s sprained,
My ‘pendix pains each time it rains.
My toes are cold, my toes are numb,
I have a sliver in my thumb.
My neck is stiff, my voice is weak,
I hardly whisper when I speak.
My tongue is filling up my mouth,
I think my hair is falling out.
My elbow’s bent, my spine ain’t straight,
My temperature is one-o-eight.
My brain is shrunk, I cannot hear,
There’s a hole inside my ear.
I have a hangnail, and my heart is …
What? What’s that? What’s that you say?
You say today is ………….. Saturday?
G’bye, I’m going out to play!”
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