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Over 60...and Getting Younger

Free Range Kids

Free Range Chicken: We have all seen that delicacy on the menu of expensive restaurants. The restaurant is telling us that the chicken we are about to devour has not been kept in a box compartment, just to lay eggs. No, this chicken has been given the free range of the property and fends for itself and gets its own food. Why this makes a difference to the gourmet is a puzzlement to me. Does it taste different?

This also holds true for the salmon we spy on the menu. We are told that free swimming salmon are healthier and are a better choice when choosing a salmon dish.

Now we come to Free Range Kids. In today’s world the mother or aide brings the child to the bus stop and waits patiently until the student is safely on the bus. There is some obvious fear factor here.

In my day in the 1940s and 1950s, we walked alone to school. Not the 10 miles that Abe Lincoln trod but at least 15 or 20 city blocks. We also traveled alone to the library on buses. Our parents were too busy earning a living to stop what they were doing and go with us to school or on the bus.

What effect is this tight control having on the new generation of children? We have taken the sense of adventure away from them and turned them into fearful adults.

The media are much to blame for this condition. They play every negative story into days of waiting for the capture of felons. Thirty years ago, Etan Patz was a tragic kidnapping in Greenwich Village that was the precursor of non-free range kids.

The counter argument: “Better to be safe than sorry! ” Yes, but we are removing some of the joys and freedoms, plus the sense of responsibility of childhood. Everything has its price.

Personally, I’d like to see my grandchildren onto the bus. But that is just – me!