My buddy Chrissy wrote a post today about her neighborhood growing up. They lived in a house that I swear would be my dream house if I could have it. Someone commented about her mother that "I wonder if she realizes the she mothered the last generation of kids who would experience that kind of childhood." She wasn't. Mine does. Granted, I'm not a stay at home mom, but my son is 13. He IS 13. He's not going on 16, 17 or older. His friends in the neighborhood aren't delinquents. I know all of them. There is one that's got a little Eddie Haskell in him, but that's just Drew. He's a good kid, just a little Eddie Haskell-ish. If there's any trouble, he's usually involved. All the parents know all the kids. We know which parents are cool, which ones are cuckoo for cocoa puffs, which ones are strict and which ones are not. During the summer, the kids are outside playing until 10:00 or sometimes later. Michigan really should be in CST, because it's still light out at 10 some nights. They play on their skateboards, bikes, roller blades, with their nerf guns, air-soft guns and bar one emergency (whoops!) no damage is done. I don't worry about mine. In fact, on occasion, the moms go out for a cocktail down the road and leave the kids outside playing, because we know they're OK.
Could I have this in MA? Maybe. Do I have it in MI? Absolutely.
Many of you don't know, but I moved here a little over 6 years ago. My reasoning? My son needed me more than my friends & family did. They would hopefully still be there, but he wasn't always going to be 6. He needed ME. He needed to feel safe. He needed to be out of an environment where drugs, gangs and nonsense were the norm.
Now his biggest worry is not getting his homework done. Not if the kid next door is going to ask him to smoke pot. Or steal something. Or how much trouble he can get into before I get home from work. I'm only 20 min. away. Not an hour and a half. He lives where a kid can be a kid.
I like that.
Happy Mother's Day to all!