Saturday, April 12, 2008

Rural Kids

I had a knock on the door last night. I answered and saw a boy, about 7, whom I hadn't seen before.

"Does a little boy live here."


"Can he come out and play with me?"

"Sure. Harry!!"

Harry got his shoes on and ran out and they screamed and ran happily for the next hour.

Turns out the boy lived down the road a little. His family had been there for a little while but we hadn't connected. He found out about Harry and marched up to our house to see him.

This is Rural Parenting. Shove them out the door in the morning. Forget about them. Call them in at night.

It makes for confident and intelligent kids.


concernedCTparent said...

It's nice to know that this type of childhood is alive and well somewhere in the universe. We used to be out until we were hungry or the lights went on (whichever came first). I wish I could say the same for my kids *sigh*

I'm sure this is the first of many such days for Harry. Lucky boy.

Dawn said...

It used to be the same for us. We were very rural. Our nearest neighbours were a quarter mile or so up the road I think. I think there were likely days when we never came in for lunch. Why bother when you knew where the rasberry bushes were or could do a quick carrot raid in the garden?

Not June Cleaver said...

When I was a kid, we had to come home when the street lights came on. That's it. Pretty much no other rules (oh, except for "don't get in a car with strangers" and the like). I grew up in the suburbs. The same suburbs I live in now, only a different part of town. We have a great and safe neighborhood due to the "no outlet" entry. It's probably safer even than the one I grew up in! People who don't belong are pretty obvious most of the time. But I still worry a lot and the kids are still always within a yell's reach or at least a phone call to the neighbor's reach. *sigh*

Anonymous said...

In our neighborhood, we were all living like this (as you describe) -- until we learned that a convicted sex offender of children was living on our street. That really put a chill in the air.

The Reluctant Homeschooler said...

Back when I was growing up, I never heard of a sex offender. I went out the door and knocked on my neighbor's house, and their kids and I and my siblings played outside all day, coming home to eat. I live in a different suburb now, but it's mostly a different time. The kids are overscheduled: soccer and ballet and karate. And in the summer, both parents work and the kids are in day camps...

We discovered the bliss of rural living as you describe it when we went to Ukraine to visit my husband's family. There the kids do exactly as you describe: go out the door and play all day, in our case with their many cousins. I, too, am glad that my kids could experience, at least for a while, the simple pleasure and innocence of childhood.