Tuesday, October 07, 2008

stop. look. and listen.

i have it in my mind to allow e to cross the road by herself. she is 7. and part of me feels so ridiculous as i type this. i walked to school by myself when i was 7. i took off around the block on my rollerskates at whim. and sometimes on the instruction of my mom, to chase my brother and expel some of our energy. and now i am contemplating this for my own child. what has happened? honestly, our world isn't that different - except for all the inane media coverage that permeates our lives. is it?

there is renewed worry about "predators" in our neighborhood. emails have been sent out between well-meaning neighbors warning of potential danger. we all watch out for each other and our kids and for that i am so greatful. but i don't like to worry about these things. be aware yes. but worry. no. there are so many things i could worry about.

i have gone over with both the girls what they should do if a stranger ever approaches them while they are jumping rope on the driveway. you can say hello. but if you don't want to say hello that is fine too. call me. or your dad. the front door is always open and we are listening for you. stranger danger they have learned in school. but part of me bristles at this. what is wrong with smiling at a stranger?

ok. i am completely off from where i was going here.

things are busy. our public school is hopping with activity. i have it in my mind to secure 1/2 million dollars in private and public funds before 2009 comes. and i feel we are on our way. i am working to put a public park on the end of our street. to transform our school's asphalt playyard. a park my kids will hopefully walk to. to meet their friends. hang out. a place that i will walk to. to meet my friends. hang out. community building. placemaking. i have become obsessed. to create a place where no one worries about their kid crossing the street alone. because they won't really be alone.{and we all stay aware}

wrapping up cornmuffins for the bakesale at the school tonight


alyssa said...

You are amazing!

house on hill road said...

i struggle with boundaries, too.
i am walking the girls to school this year - it's about a mile - in the hopes that in a year, at 8 and 10, they will be able to do it themselves.

BunkleLife said...

Hate the culture of fear we seem to live in. Are things really that different from when I was little, walking to the corner store for the first time at age 6? (oh i felt sooo grown up). I think not - we just have more of the bad stuff thrown out in the open now, and a seemingly never ending appetite for it. Awareness is key. Community is key. And love what you doing to help build that.

hannah said...

oh tracy. i know where you are coming from. i remember being told to leave the house and not come back until dark. now i see a 2nd grader walking home from school and i can help but think where is their parent?? aaaah! how to find the balance?

leslie said...

i have thought about this a lot myself. i think we are more crowded now than we were years ago, maybe that and the media exposure together has fed the fear? i too walked to school as a first grader, 6 years old! by myself! my parents live in the same place and that seems like a long walk to me now, but i was perfectly fine picking flowers for my teacher along the way and making up games with sidewalk cracks. lots of quiet time to think and daydream (one of my best plans was how cool it would be to have a tunnel to get to school that could run on a diagonal with no stop lights, a nice quick path to school each day!) anyways! i am happy i finally allow my girls to ride completely around the block, but i admit the street crossing is scary and if they are gone too long, i do run out to check on them. hard to stop that fear in the gut feeling you get.


leslie said...

oh tracy, that comment i made is linked to my camp fire website, if you are wondering who that was!