I think I am getting old. Perhaps I feel that way because I am sitting home on a Friday night typing a blogpost that nobody will read until Monday. Or maybe it is because I read news articles and usually have some cynical thing to say about most of them. I have to turn old school rap up really loud to hear it in the right way, but small children seem to be so noisy that I can hear them screaming before their mouths open. I am genuinely sad when I see things that were OK when I was young totally blown out of whack and I start longing for the days of my youth. Whether attributed to the boring Friday night or thein my local paper, my panties are in a wad and I am pissy. The Dallas Morning News reported that a small town father was arrested and could face 4 years for letting his 10 year old child drive.
Now before you guys go crazy on me, let me remind you that I grew up in a small parish outside New Orleans. My grandparents lived in the “country” and had lots of land. That land was perfect for dirt bike races and driving the farm truck. It was a treat for me, as a child, to sit on my dad’s lap and “drive” the car. It was a treat for me, at 12 and while visiting family in Kansas, to drive miles and miles of highway. In small towns, you start driving young-usually on a riding lawn mower or tractor and have mastered it well before you take the written test.
As you may expect, I wanted to pass that joy to my girls. Ash and Riss both learned to “drive” sitting on my lap. They took turns on the tractor and the family’s farm truck. And, when they took the clutch for the first time on a real road, at 14 and 11, it was in an ’03 911. Neither of them even stalled the car. They loved that night and still talk about it. Thank God I did not know that, if caught, I could be arrested for child endangerment with bail set at $10K.
The article made me think of the things I did as a child and I wondered how many of them would today be considered “child endangerment”. My daddy taught me to shoot when I was 7 or 8. My friends and I used to shoot- without an adult- in the woods that were near our homes. We “camped out” in the backyard and roasted marshmallows over a roaring campfire. We snagged our parents’ cigarettes and coughed our way through the first puffs. Our parents allowed us to drink “grasshoppers” over games of Monopoly. We rode three-wheelers on the street and horses on the levee. We fished in the three ponds and had no need of a license, and almost any Louisiana kid could back a boat down a boat launch by the age of 12.
Unfortunately, kiddos today can’t have those things-almost all of them would result in some kind of citation. The PC police and child “experts” have nearly phased happy childhood out of existence. They took away freedom, independence, imagination and creativity and replaced them with Ritalin and Adderall.
Admittedly, I don’t know the details of this particular situation, but I can’t help but feel sorry for this man and his children. Jose Lugo, the subject of the DMN blurb, sits in jail and his wife can’t afford to get him out. The article implies that Mr. Lugo was drunk, but he wasn’t arrested for DWI. McKinney, TX is a small town much like the one of my childhood so I can’t help but wonder if he was simply making a memory. I do know that his kiddos will have a traumatic memory of temporary CPS custody and Daddy’s arrest. If the man does even half of the possible four year prison term, the kids will likely suffer a fate worse than bad memories.
Perhaps the police should have simply asked the man to change seats. But what do I know? Besides, I can’t think of this anymore- I have to go scope out the Kroger down the street. Perhaps I will find some young whippersnapper buying way more toilet paper than any one person needs. If I follow him, I may be able to witness a moment of youthful fun-if it exists anymore.