A Non-Safety Nazi Mom SightingTuesday, July 24, 2012
Recently, I was riding my Harley back home after a Friday jaunt, and I passed by a concert on the river in the town where I live. A Rod Stewart tribute band was playing, so I parked my bike and walked to the concert site, and I sat on the steep hillside with the rest of the concert attendees, watching the band play in the gazebo on the opposite side of the river.
The steep hill had attracted a very sparse crowd, perhaps because it was 100 degrees at 8pm in the evening. A thirty-ish Mom sat to my right, with her son and daughter, ages approximately 5 and 7. These children were experiencing the joys of yesteryear, when play was spontaneous and sullied, as opposed to being strategically planned to crawl around a lifeless, canned plastic playground attached to a satellite of the industrial-governmental food complex.
The children soon realized that while the concert was boring (to them), the simple grass hill was pure adventure. It was fun to dart in and out of people, and it was even more fun to start at the top of the hill and run down as fast as they could, while staying upright. Then the children started to realize that running full speed and sliding down the hill was even more joyous. They began to slide, roll, and scream down the hill, and they ran back up again, only to repeat. Each trip down the hill gave birth to a new and unscripted frolic that emerged from their imaginations on the way down the hill. Somersaults, twirls, figure eights, backwards runs – you name it.
Their Mom never once gave them a stern warning that they were going to hurt themselves. She was smiling at her kids the whole time. The Mom turned to me to apologize for the screaming, commotion, and overrun of physical activity. I quickly said, “No, no, are you kidding? I am loving this.” She smiled and nodded at me. The kids kept watching me, and the more I laughed, the more they watched my reaction and the more energized they became because they knew they had an audience. Showboat time. Additionally, their clothes were scarred with green grass, their faces were dirt-smudged, and their clean athletic shoes were defaced with the filth of the previous day’s pouring rain, plus a layer of gummy gravel. Still, all Mom saw was that her children were enjoying an impromptu moment, acting upon their primal nature.
Why weren’t these children covered in sunscreen, anti-bacterial armor, and wearing helmets? Or why weren’t they told to sit still, otherwise they would get hurt? Because their mother didn’t subscribe to the helicopter-hysterical parent notion that children ought to live as captives of a safety society, always protected from potential harm, always maxed out in the safety regalia recommended by government safety nazis and their hired experts who peddle myths and deceptions for the established arms of the corporatocracy.