At Ease

Jack Webster

WELL, I AM STILL HERE AND Nothing more drastic has befallen me. Guess Lisa is satisfied with her little "tricks" and things are back to normal albeit I do have the new address and guess it is permanent. However, I am glad that she scheduled me for this week instead of last week. The April 19 date on which Editor Jay wrote the column was also designated (by the Government, I guess) as “Earth Day”... can you imagine what she might have pulled on me if I had been scheduled to write that day? There would probably have been a terrific earthquake, "sink hole" or some other earth-related disaster take place in my area of residence. I just thank my lucky stars that she was still busy with her family vacation and thus didn’t bother to check the calendar for my next date to furnish the column. I am still keeping my guard up for any further shenanigans she might cast upon me...

I AM STARTING THIS COLUMN a week early since I have about completed my task of moving/searching/finding and straightening out my possessions. We were not a couple that "collected, saved and stashed away things that we might use someday" but still . . . I found items that I had not seen for years and that had no practical use now. It was fun to look at them and reminisce however, and think of the places we had gotten them and the circumstances surrounding their purchase. Glasses from casinos in Reno over 45 years ago, books, maps and brochures of our visits to Calgary, Glacier Nat’l Park and Estes Park all on the same trip (the trip that Edna said "never again" to a four-week, 6,500-mile vacation)... Many items, many memories and many pictures of our (much) younger days. Should be tossed but... maybe keep them for a few more years as the pictures showed the stages of the kids’ growing up... I am down to the point where I have only two items left that I have no room for. Think they are headed for the church auction. Also a couple of items that the kids want "in the near future" and I say"the nearer the better"!

ENOUGH OF THIS AND ON TO the problems at hand... and our elected officials have plenty of them! For instance the nasty accusations that ex-FBI Director James Comey has been lambasting President Trump with... and the counter attacks by the President as to the background and alleged lies, actions and wrong-doings by the ex-Director! Who do you believe? Why does one believe Comey any more than you would believe the President? Comey is getting invaluable publicity for his book while accusing the President of many wrong-doings. Comey is merely human like the rest of us so is he any more believable than the President? I think it all comes down to which political party one is affiliated with and that is a pretty poor criteria on which to base any belief...

LET US GET BACK TO MORE mundane things which affect us, and one in particular which I have tried to promote for a number of years -- that of too much organization for young children. Why do kids ages 6, 7 or 8 need parents or other adults to organize their playground activities? Let the kids ride their bikes to school, get a baseball game together on an empty lot, and JUST BE KIDS! Let them learn the hard way of what it takes when two teams meet... it is not a shame to lose or to make a mistake! There is always tomorrow and another adventure to experience IF THE PARENTS LEAVE THEM ALONE! If there is a dispute, let the kids settle it with a scuffle, a black eye or two and maybe torn shirts. Scrapes and bruises heal, shirts can be mended but if parents/coaches try to organize things the kids never learn to take responsibility. Let kids be kids with bicycle races, sandlot games with "made up" rules and learn that it is no big deal to lose a game or a race... I feel this is more of a learning experience for the kids than a well-organized game -- with parents shouting and criticizing and shaming their kids in front of their peers. LET KIDS BE KIDS... and I think they will learn more about "real life" than strict organization from age 5 on to adulthood... THIS WAS BROUGHT TO MIND last week when an article in the Tribune told of how Utah, followed by groups in New York and Texas, are promoting “Free Range Parenting." This is an idea that Free Range Parenting allows kids to do things alone such as explore playgrounds, ride bikes to school and to do away with "Over Parenting/Organizing"! It is an antidote for anxiety-plagued parents and over-scheduled kids -- a win-win situation to my way of thinking! And the states mentioned above say that it has proven to them that kids are healthier, happier and more resilient with the "Open Range Policy"! Let us hope more states get on the "bandwagon" and follow the lead of Utah, New York and Texas. “Free Range or Bust” can be our new rallying cry...


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