8 Minute Memoir: Adventure

Tonight we watched the movie Kiki's Delivery Service, which is the story of a young witch who moves to a new city to learn how to live on her own. In the movie she is only 13, which seems awfully young (and even other characters comment on her youth), but apparently in that world it is normal for witches to do this. She mostly finds good people to help and mentor her and to become her friends, and the drama in the story is fairly low-stakes as she learns how to work through life. Then I got on the computer and read a blog post from a woman who has been teaching her preteen daughter how to use public transit to get around her city. I realized that my kids are much more sheltered and less adventurous than I was at their age. 

I had an early-morning paper route starting at about age 11 that I kept through starting 9th grade (because Seminary interfered with it). Every single morning I'd wake up early, fold up all the newspapers, load them in my bags, get on my bike, and ride around the neighborhood delivering them. My route only took me a few blocks from my house, but I never felt any fear about being out on my own taking care of my job. I also never remember worrying about going out each month to collect money from my customers.

Similarly, I spent a lot of time riding my bike, or sometimes walking, to all kinds of places by myself. I rode my bike to the beach, the mall, my friends' houses, K-Mart, and regularly to the library. Some of these places were much closer than others, but I never remember my parents worrying about me. I would even sometimes ride the bus to other nearby malls, and occasionally had problems with missing my stop or getting on the wrong bus. One time I missed the bus home from the mall, and walked several miles home in the dark. I don't remember being scared, however, and I even stopped by Subway to buy myself a sandwich for dinner. 

On the one hand, I love doing family activities and spending time with my kids. I like that most Saturdays we hang out together and do things like going to the library and the grocery store together. However, I do sometimes wonder if they are going to ever be as confidently adventurous as I was at their ages. They walk to and from school, and when it isn't dark at night, they walk to Mutual over at the church. Honestly, even when it's dark, they could still walk to the church, but I know some leaders think I'm a terrible parent for letting my kids walk four blocks in the dark. Unfortunately no one else is out walking at that time either, so I guess I'll give them a ride. At least I'm not letting them move to a strange city with only a broomstick and a cat.


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