Wednesday, January 30, 2008

I warned you ...

In the last post, I mentioned the spooky absence of children in public. Playgrounds are practically empty except for the occasional, literal line of school or day care children paraded through the park for "outdoor" time. The grocery store and the library are a no-man's land. The playground at the mall is really the only place I see kids. That says a lot about our culture right there. Kids are just consumers in training.

And even when I drive by day care centers, I rarely see kids outside. One day care center near us is a small prefabricated building with no windows. NO WINDOWS, seriously. It's like a cubicle farm for children. How depressing.

Just as a disclaimer before I start offending people, I'm simply pouring out how much it hurts my heart to know that children are subjected to sub-par care on a daily basis. I know, families need to keep their heads above water financially somehow and day care and public schools are often their only options. I just wish things were different because every child deserves to have what we've been able to give our son - undivided attention, loads of free time, superhuman patience and unconditional love.

What if families could live more comfortably on one or one and a half incomes? What if our culture didn't promote spending as the only way to keep the economy going and didn't measure the health of the nation by how much its citizens spend? What if we didn't have to work until May to pay our taxes? What if there were no public schools to support with property taxes? How much more money would we have to support ourselves? A lot, is the answer, and we'd finally have some real choices. Choices like spending our money on the kind of education - private or even home-based - we want for our children instead of being forced into relying on government schools. Or saving for our own retirement instead of paying into a system that won't pay us back. Or buying a home based on community and affordability instead of school district, which often forces people to live in neighborhoods they can just barely afford.

Maybe if things were a little different, more kids would have the kind of childhood they deserve. That's all I'm trying to say.

1 comment:

maryellenlewis said...

Very well said.