Can I wash your car?

My son just asked me if he could walk to McDonalds with his friends. My answer? Hell no.
He’s 10 and McDonalds is literally right up the street, but it’s a busy street. I just don’t feel comfortable with that yet.
I started thinking about when I was a kid, his age, even younger I believe and how we would walk or ride our bikes all over the city. My friends and I would go door to door with a bucket, sponges, dish soap, towels and ask people if we could wash their car for $1.00. Most of them would let us, and when we had collected enough to buy lunch at McDonalds, or a yogurt at Yogurt-n-more we’d pack up, and take off. My parents never had a problem with us doing that.
I just feel like times are different now. Then I wonder, are they really? Or am I just paranoid? No, I think times are different.
I think it’s sad that my children can’t enjoy some of the same freedoms we did as children because the memories I have from walkin’ the hood to get something to eat at McDonalds, or something to drink at AM PM mini mart are truly priceless.
So are the memories of lemonade stands. I remember my dad built a crappy little wooden stand and we would make lemonade and stand at the top of our street begging cars passing by to buy a cup for 10 cents. Usually the only one who would stop was the mailman, but that didn’t stop us. We’d sit there for hours and every car was a possible sale, it was exciting. I’d jump up and down everytime a car would drive by screaming “want some lemonade????” (Damn, too bad I didn’t develop early, just think of all the perverts people that would have stopped for a nice refreshing uh, cup of lemonade.
I love that I wasn’t afraid to do silly stuff like that as a kid. Those are some of the greatest memories I have of my childhood.

6 thoughts on “Can I wash your car?

  1. TW

    Times are different, and it’s a shame. I wish my urchins could do all things and have all the freedom I had, but they just can’t. I don’t think the world’s the better for it.

  2. Azure

    yes, times have changed…i once walked from my mom’s house to my dad’s house (it was one town over, probably 4 miles? not sure…maybe 5) when i was 8 or something…freaked both of my parents out, but then i was always the independent one…we used to stay out til the street lights came on…my kids aren’t old enough yet, but i can’t imagine letting them do what i did as a kid…

  3. Barbara

    Remember when you weren’t allowed in the house unless it was raining? Remember entire afternoons at your best friend’s house without your mom calling even once? Remember hide and seek in the summer until dark?
    Last night I had to let my son go down the street *after* dinner, oh! horrors! It was the first time, ’cause you know, he’s 11 now, and I had to say yes.
    It freaked me out. I made him swear he’d be home by 8:30. And then I called, like twice. I’m pathetic, at least he thinks so.

  4. Radmila

    I feel sorry for kids these days.
    They lack the freedom and creative minds that allowed them to make up their own games and find ways to entertain themselves with their own ideas, that we had.
    Many are also so bundled up and wrapped in bubble wrap by their parents that they’re afraid to do many things.
    The fact that the world has changed and we don’t know our neighbours the way that we used to contributes to this.
    It really does take a village to raise a child.

  5. Empress

    I’m paranoid when I don’t know where my kids are and they’re all between 18 and 21. It’s a tough world out there these days and I don’t even know what made it change so much in so little time. But it’s a shame.

  6. Lisa

    I just had this conversation with my hubby. I used to ride the bus for an hour to the beach, and have a blast. Yet, I don’t feel like I can let my kids out of our cul-de-sac. Where did all the sickos come from? Were they around when we were kids and we just didn’t know it?

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