Well, not really, but I’m not used to being so constrained. You pretty much need to watch kids all the time or they’ll disappear and go play with an electrical distribution panel or find a circular saw somewhere. I don’t remember my Mom worrying this much about us–she’d shove us out the door about age two and say “be back for the first day of school”.
I don’t know why that seemed so safe and acceptable then. We played cowboys and Indians in the back of Ringers Playground, on rock outcroppings that people would use for technical climbing today. We dug boards for our forts from salvage piles full of rusty nails and ancient drainpipes. Tetanus? That was probably the least of it. And as the Catholic church has amply demonstrated, there were plenty of predatory perverts around back then, there must have been secular ones, they couldn’t all have gone to seminary school. For that matter, I wonder when all the Protestant “youth pastors” are going to start showing up in court. I always thought those guys were strange. And what about all those weird “assistant scoutmasters”. But all I knew about was the occasional flasher, and that you shouldn’t take candy from strangers. I don’t think the word got around much.
Okay, I’m wandering, but now for better or worse we’re suspicious of anyone that takes more than one glance at the kids, and we want to shield them from all the hideous crap that I did to myself and others (like nearly burning our house down with terrible regularity, and electrocuting myself at least once a month).
James is easy–one word and he’ll back off from whatever he’s doing, though Diane had to remind him twice to stop leaning on big, buzzing box clearly marked “High Voltage”. Shea seems to have the survival instincts of a lemming. If you yell at him while he’s doing something potentially dangerous he’ll immediately try to undertake the most dangerous scenario. Tell him a lamp is hot and he immediately grabs the hottest part. He’ll run full speed down a steep ramp with a stone wall at the end, doing crazy feet and wagging his head to minimize any control skills he might possess. Climb to the least stable part of any structure. Leap in front of horses, wagons, and bicycles.
I feel like Spiderman, constantly deflecting falling beams, grabbing up falling bodies in mid-air, intercepting bicycles with my body. So if you bump into me at the race track next weekend, and the happy-go-lucky Bill seems a little haggard and haunted, don’t be concerned. I’ll recover. I’m not raising these kids, this is just a vacation. Ha. Ha. A VACATION.
For right now, however, I’m trying to decide if 1:20 is too early for a Martini.