Tuesday, September 8, 2009

How did we ever survive?

I was listening to Jeff Foxworthy last night and he brought up a point I often wonder about. How did our generation survive to adulthood? - or least the majority of us. He said he could recall riding all the way to Florida lying in the back window of the family sedan.

When I was three, I can clearly remember my mother flinging her right arm in front of me as I stood on the front seat next to her. She was coming to an abrupt stop and wanted to keep me from flying into the dashboard. I never thought of her as strong, but she prevented it every time. That would probably hurt given the dashboard in those days was solid metal! Let's see how many laws we have broken here!

Best to my recollection I survived glass baby bottles, baby powder with talc, red food (ie red food coloring), lead paint, mercury fillings, my brother's "Creepy Crawler Maker" (remember those - an open hot plate), bicycles with no helmets, Slip and Slides, and processed food at an early age. There is no doubt that children born today are being brought up in a much safer and cleaner world than we were, but sometimes it goes to the extreme. I am a firm believer in car seats and seat belts - no question there. Bike helmets - yes. No red food - maybe.

I see these children in the shopping carts at the market protected by shopping cart covers and in my mind all I can imagine is their backyards covered with sheets so they won't get dirty or contract some Bungee-Bungee disease that their parents read on some website their backyard could harbor. But at some point they have to be exposed to the real world. Is today's world that much worse than the one we were reared in? Or is it too much information? Was my mother's ignorance my bliss?

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