The Writing Mamas Daily Blog

Each day on the Writing Mamas Daily Blog, a different member will write about mothering.

If you're a mom then you've said these words, you've made these observations and you've lived these situations - 24/7.

And for that, you are a goddess.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


Fresh Air

Growing up in Rochester, New York, an oval island of grass the size of a football field sat right outside our front door.

The patch of land held a few old trees at each end and marked the merging point of two suburban streets. During the school year the concrete edge of the Island was my bus stop. In the summer, the Island was the social center of the scruffy pack of kids living in the surrounding five blocks: soccer, Frisbee, or Capture the Flag were constantly in play.

Summer days ended with our returning home from day camp or summer school or the Jewish Community Center pool to have dinner then run out the screen door. We played games on the Island until we were forced inside. Our nightly curfew was announced by parents’ calling out our names into the darkness.

Only when we couldn’t see each other on the Island, even with the houses’ porch lights lit, was it time to drag our rapturously exhausted selves home for the night. The same bunch of kids played with igloos and snowballs during winter vacation.

I knew most of the kids we’d run around with, but not all. We told our parents some of what we did and where we’d been, but not everything. My parents didn’t ask many questions. Vacation times meant children left the house in the morning to play in the fresh air. We came home only to refuel and sleep. None of the parents checked on us. Why would they need to?

Later, when we drank our first beers and had our first kisses on the Island, we counted on our parents’ benign neglect to give us privacy.

Yesterday, I got an e-mail from a friend. Her 8-year old was running out to the car in front of her suburban house to get a book she needed. Four men tried to corner her and get her into their car. She was able to escape into the safety of her home.

I miss the innocence of running full-speed in a safe and endless outdoors. Even if it wasn’t as safe as I remember. But my belief that no danger existed in the fresh air was the real gift of my childhood.

I wish it so much for my children.

Maybe we vigilant moms can keep the feeling of running wild and dusty under the stars as a birthright for our kids. Perhaps we can keep them safe and keep them untamed, free unto themselves in the fresh air.

By Avvy Mar


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This is a great blog Avvy - rings too true.
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