There Are no Children in America

My Man brought up an interesting topic last night, that of the eerie lack of children playing outdoors. Now, I understand it's Winter time, but remembering my childhood in upstate New York, snow meant snow-forts. And snow-forts meant snow-wars between my siblings and I, sometimes involving 2 or 3 neighbor kids taking sides and letting the snowballs fly. This entire Winter season, I am sorry to say that the only snowball I've seen was the one my guy threw in my face while we picked out Christmas trees (ho ho ho.)

So where are they? Where are the kids? I remember one of the first things I said while first driving down a Missoula street last Summer, "This place makes me want to have a baby!" It was nothing but pristine, the tree-lined streets, the amazing downtown with carousel and giant wooden maze of a playground. Nothing much has changed since then, except the streets have always seemed so void of play. No basketballs, street hockey, or games of tag were seen that Summer, and none since. Maybe I'm looking in the wrong places, but you shouldn't really have to look.

One thing I share in common with Robin is that he and I define our childhood by the outdoors. For me, it was running through the pines with my little brother and sister, hunting fairies and other imaginary creatures, big piles of leaves to jump in, and giant snow slides my Dad made for us every Winter. For Robin, it was general mischief with neighborhood friends, water balloon fights, piling up the Las Vegas desert rocks to serve as forts, and Winters in NY full of hockey and sledding.

So what's in store for the children of today? I'm worried that there has been a cultural shift, and we are witnessing the first silent Spring of our Country's youth, the kids that went indoors- and never came out.

Has the Wii actually replaced all childhood games and sports? Have the Nation's children finally been devoured by the relentlessly blaring television and countless online RPG subcultures? Have America's parents, self-absorbed and self-sufficient, drawn their social circles so tiny that they exclude their own neighbors from their interactions?

What kind of people will these children be, having never stretched their legs and tested the limits of their glorious, short-lived youth? I really don't want to know them, they will be like aliens that scowl at the sun and think that grass is only for cutting, leaves are only for raking, and snow is only for plowing. Somebody, save the children! From what I've seen, there are no children in America.

I cordially invite you join me in detesting these frighteningly ironic items:
The Sims 3 Outdoor Living
Wii Active Life Outdoor Challenge
Family Party: 30 Great Games Outdoor Fun (for Nintendo Wii)

Signing off! ~Laura

Content by Laura Gabriele