Living free as a kid in the 70´s
We can all remember what it was like to be a kid in the old days. We ran outside with no shoes on, played in the creek, went to the mine and explored. One time, one of the children fell into the water by the mine. We tried to pull him up countless times but couldn’t do it. Who knows why, maybe because we were all under 7 years old? Who knows, but we were pretty determined to do it ourselves because each and every one of us had been warned not to go there. The water was dangerous and the poor kid was getting scared. We finally did go get a parent to help and I can’t remember if we stopped frequenting the mine though. I doubt it, there was allot of Iron Pyrite there Fools Gold and we were young and foolish, so it was right up our ally. We played where ever we wanted to because the town was our playground. We ran around the neighbourhood as much as we wanted to and it was normal.
I used to live in Lynn Lake Manitoba when I was a kid. I guess I was about 5 or 6 years old at the time. We were one of the few families in my group of friends that had TV. During the day in the summer while our parents were at work my sister and I would invite the kids in the neighbourhood to watch with us. We weren’t allowed to have anyone inside the house so they watched from the doorway. I can still remember the look on their faces as they watched TV standing by the door hoping we would give up and invite them in. There was a forest behind our house on Silver Street that we would play in. We ran around there to our hearts content. One time we were running away from some drunks in the forest and one of my friends fell and got glass in their eye. I will never forget watching her dad use his tongue to lick it out. We were all thoroughly grossed out and fascinated all at the same time. If we got bored we would draw pictures and sell them door to door in town for a nickel. We felt rich after selling just a few pictures because in those days you could buy a piece of candy for a penny. Every When we had sold all our pictures or got tired of going door to door we would just go to the local candy store and fill our pockets with candy. We were alone during the day, no babysitter. My sister who was in grade 2 at the time babysat me during the day. If we got hungry she would whip up some oatmeal on the stove. That is until the kitchen caught fire. The tea towel was hanging too close to the element. It was an honest mistake that anyone could have made. we were very responsible little girls. I remember it very well. When the flames started licking at the wall we calmly went looking for the animals that were in the house then once they were found we went to the neighbours( it was an main floor in a house) and told him that the kitchen was on fire. My mother quit her job in the jewellery store after that. I remember being very proud that I knew how to walk from one end of Lynn Lake to the other. It was a safe little town, bliss for a kid at that age or was it just an average town and the real bliss was the freedom to explore and be free. I asked my mother about it years later and according to her there were allot less child molesters and criminals in those days. I think not.
The media and the global network makes news easier to spread. I highly doubt that 33 years ago my mother would have heard about a child being raped and killed in Saskatoon or in Toronto. But today in our modern society if we as mothers hear about a child disappearing in Utah or Edmonton and we pull our children closer. Our grip tightens and our fear grows. I moved to Iceland in part because of this. I had become one of those parents who wouldn’t let my child walk to the park alone. I barley let them play outside, and felt that allowing them to walk the 10 minutes to school by themselves was a big thing. I felt my anxiety grow with each kidnapping, killing rape and murder that I heard about in the media storm that is unavoidable these days. When I moved here to Iceland things changed pretty fast but that is another story all together. I was inspired to write this post after reading www.FreeRangekids.wordpress.com
I am not done with this subject but I am done with today.