Friday, April 20, 2007

Innocence

It was a nice day and dry so Kid and I went to the playground. Two young girls were there playing, about the Kid's age so she felt the need to play with them. No problems here. Instant friendship. A 4, 5 and 7 year old playing. Normal picture in my book. But it struck me as hopeful... the 2 little girls were African-American. The Kid has no concept of racism. Only if someone is being mean or not playing nice.

So the 4 of played... I pushed them on the swings, went on the slide and played Pirate on the spinning Crows Nest.

After 30 min (10 of which were trying to the Kid to leave), we said our good-byes and walked home. Being still light and somewhat warm, the Kid didn't want to go home. I didn't blame her so she suggested a walk. Instead of our usual Left turn at the corner, she wanted to go right. As we walked, the Kid saw her 2 new friends running to her. They lived on the corner. No mom in sight, no older sibling in sight... what the hell?!

These 3 little girls have no concept of Stranger Danger or deceit. The Kid wanted to go in and see the girls room. The girls had no problem walking away with me to join us on our walk. I stopped it there. I made the girls go ask their mom, I introduced myself and said we'd be back in like 15 min. The mom was like, whatever and the girls joined us. I have mixed emotions about this - 1) Society has lost its sense of the Neighborhood due to fear. 2) The girls and the kid had no concept of STRANGER DANGER. 3) Would I let someone take my kid for a walk? No. I wouldn't. I had plan B all set if the mom said no. I can pull off the Mom Cover story in a heartbeat. But this mom said yes. I'm unsettled by this - we'll stick to playing at the playground. No more walks or house visits. I guess I've lost my trust too.

1 comment:

Brigid said...

i really liked your entry. on one hand, i recall making friends with kids at the park when i was younger, and children go towards other children. like those kids probably thought there was nothing wrong because you were a mommy. also, i think its a good thing for kids who dont know each other to branch out and make new friends, because when youre young, youre not jaded yet. you still trust everyone your age. on the other hand, that other mommy should have said no. i think she had less sense of stranger danger than the kids, because shes old enough to know better.
also, i realized the same thing with bernie...they dont see black and white. she once desciberd some girl in her class as having black hair and brown eyes adn then i met the kid and she was black. it was like "whoa. that would have been the very first charachteristic i would have named as a kid." bernie knows the differences in people, male-female, black-white, even gay-straight, and its a wonderful thought that the next generation could be blind to these predjudices. hopefully all these kids parents keep up those values that everyone is the same.