I feel old.
My wife and I were just sitting here remembering what it was like for us as kids and thinking how different it is for our kids.
This all came up because of a story ES read at school. Apparently Abraham Lincoln realized he overcharged someone 6 cents, so he chased the person down the street to repay them their 6 cents. ES just couldn't believe that he would do that for 6 measly cents. My wife explained to him the concept of inflation and the fact that 6 cents was worth a lot more back then.
That got me to thinking...
When I was in first and second grade, we used to go to the Thrifty drug store down the hill from our house to get ice cream. It was 15 cents for a single scoop, or 30 cents for a double. Nowadays, we go to Maggie Moo's and pay like $3 bucks per ice cream. I don't remember the exact price, but it seems to me we normally pay about $12 for the four of us there. Granted, at Maggie Moo's they take candy and other stuff and mix it in to the ice cream by hand, but still. If we just went down the road to the Hershey ice cream place, I'm certain it costs at least somewhere in the $1.50 to $2 price range for an ice cream cone.
When I was in third and fourth grade, we used to ride our bikes and play ALL over our neighborhood. I could have been anywhere in a 4 or 5 block radius from my house, and there were no cell phones or radios for our parents to find us.
ES likes to go over to his friend K's house to play. We have a very nice network of paved walking paths all over Ashburn. I just clicked my way around Google Earth and saw that it would be an easy 0.57 mile walk for ES to just walk on the paths over to K's house instead of my wife driving him to drop him off and then driving over to pick him up again.
I've always been grateful to my parents for their trust in me and the independence it fostered.
I went on my first unaccompanied plane trip when I was 9 years old. Granted, my mom said goodbye to me as I got on the plane in California, and my Grandpa said hello to me as I walked off the plane in Colorado, but still...
That was the same age that I became a latch-key kid. Yep, I walked unescorted 0.9 miles from my elementary school to my house (the horror!), and then let myself in the house and went to play with my friends in the neighborhood.
Since I value the independence my parents fostered in me, I've always thought that I would try to do the same for my kids.
...and yet I find I'm not entirely comfortable with the idea of ES going half a mile to his friends' house.
Is it just a sign of the times?
Are there just too many weirdos out there to make it worth the risk?
Or am I just not as trusting as my parents were?