The Wonder Years

It’s a wonder I ever survived childhood.

I rode in the back of pick up trucks. I never wore a bike helmet. My father smoked a pack a day. (Often in the car.) I ate Jello and drank Kool-Aid. I rarely wore seat belts. I was fed formula as a baby. I ate Twinkies. I almost never used sunscreen. I watched Saturday morning cartoons for three hours straight. I ran around our neighborhood, unsupervised and barefooted.

I’m not saying safety precautions and education are bad things. And perhaps I’m still haunted by some of these missteps, especially all those peeling sunburns.

Yet today, when I read about all the things to avoid when raising my own children, I worry. And worry.  What am I doing now that they’ll look back on and wonder? Will they one day say: ‘Hey, look what we missed out on because our mom was a paranoid wreck?’ Or ‘What the heck was in all that sunscreen?’


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