Do you ever hear people reminisce about the days of innocence? When kids could run free. We came home when it got dark out. Or we stayed within the reach of moms voice. But were they really innocent days? When you consider the number of damaged broken adults who were harmed in the days of innocence. STATS.
I think the helicopter parenting and tight reign we hold on our kids lives now is reactionary to how innocent those days really were not. Is there a path to a happy medium?
When I was in 5th and 6th grade I was a crossing guard on base in Munich. My friend and I arrived early in the morning to our post at the spot that the kids who lived on one side of base had to pass through to get to school. We wore our official uniform, carried a crossing stick with a German traffic symbol on it, and together we helped both younger and older than us students arrive to school.
We felt our jobs were important and we were duty bound to ensure the safe crossing of the students at the Munich American grade school and high school. I don’t know how cost effective we were because MP’s (Military Police) were assigned to guard us as we guarded the crosswalk. Having MP’s assigned to us never took away from the sense of duty I felt. MP’s were part of daily life in Munich. Heavily armed soldiers guarded our daily lives. It was normal.
So maybe the days of innocence were relative to where you grew up? Kids roamed the housing area and base until curfew. Whenever I see the clock turn to 10 p.m. I always hear in my mind, “It is 10 p.m. Central European Time, do you know where your children are?” This warning played every single night on AFN (American Forces Network) Radio.
I wrote this blog in 2016 but never published it. I came across it today in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and protests. Wow how life has changed from the days of innocence to today. What we wouldn’t do for the days of innocence before the pandemic when kids could gather without fear.