Did you guys catch that “what would mom do?” post. Something about Tab and neglect? It was sweet and inspiring in that, “hey remember the past? Wasn’t that great in retrospect?” way that always impresses old people and republicans. Guess that makes my generation old, officially? Yes, our parents had “parenting” a helluva a lot easier than we do, what with putting it in quotes and making it ironic. Just read this blog if you want to know what goes on in the background.
Look, I’m way too lazy to be a helicopter mom, what with all the mad arm flailing, and I totally agree that raising kids shouldn’t be a competitive sport. But let’s take a closer look back at the delightfully hands-off parenting of the seventies, shall we?
When we moved into an apartment with a pool, our mother decided we needed swim lessons. For safety. Pools, after all, are almost as dangerous as perverts. Mom checked us in at the community pool, walked us through the shiny foyer and out to the pool where she handed us off to a chipper blonde who promised to have us doing bobs by the end of the first class.
After class, the chipper blonde approached my mom. “Do you know your son already knows how to swim?” she asked. “We moved him to the advanced class.”
“That’s…odd,” mom said.
But it wasn’t, really. Because over the fence and down the hill from our home in Boulder Creek was a fairly epic little swimming hole. And if you don’t think three mostly unsupervised kids didn’t jump that fence at every opportunity and run barefoot down to the pool and all along its feeder streams where the rocks were slicker than snot and the crawdads slow, you don’t know kids.
By some miracle, nobody drowned or got tetanus. In fact, my brother apparently learned how to swim all on his own.
You know how I learned to swim? Tied to the collar of a freaking Samoyed.
Another delightful parenting moment brought to you by the care-free seventies. Have another can of Tab, there, responsible adult. The kids are fine.