When I was a girl I was often up and out the door after a quick breakfast. I played and explored outside all day and only came home to eat and use the washroom. I was called in at dinnertime and then was out again until the street lights came on (and woe betide me if I was late!). I played and ran and had fantastic adventures with my friends.
Depending on where I lived, I also tramped around in the bush by myself and learned how to tell time by the sun and find my way home after becoming lost. I ate wild berries that I’d learned were safe and drank stream water.
I think it was good for me to grow up semi-wild and independent. I was always extremely healthy and became a bit of a free-thinker. I learned from nature and observation. Although I was a dreamer, I also became very observant of what was going on around me.
Things are different nowadays. Although our children are statistically safer than they were back in my day, they are coddled and protected more now. This false perception of danger, according to one journalist, has led to unhealthy, socially stunted kids.
Another article warns that “the mental health of 21st-century children is at risk because they are missing out on the exposure to the natural world enjoyed by past generations.”
I’m afraid I would have to agree.
But there is a movement afoot to set the children free. Lenore Skenazy, the journalist who was labeled “America’s Worst Mom” for allowing her nine-year-old son to journey home on the subway alone, has started Free Range Kids and has even written a book on the subject (see Resources, below).
Lenore says on her website, “We are not daredevils. We believe in life jackets and bike helmets and air bags. But we also believe in independence. Children, like chickens, deserve a life outside the cage. The overprotected life is stunting and stifling, not to mention boring for all concerned.”
Hear, hear! Let’s temper our fear with a little more common sense, shall we?
Okay, this is the last video that I’ll bore you with for awhile. It’s just that I’ve been having so much fun with my FLIP camera and my editing software (CyberLink PowerDirector).
I was hanging out with my niece and her fella and my son, Rob. We went to Eau Claire and Princes Island and had dinner at Joey Tomato’s at Eau Claire. Later, my daughter and son-in-law came over with the babies. It was a good day.
While my blog is mostly about genealogy and Kirkpatrick family research, it seems I’ve been digressing a lot lately. Anyhoo, I just had to share this priceless little video about my grandbabies.
Now, I realize I’m probably just being a typical grandmother and most folks out there are bored with video of babies, but indulge me, please? I proud and I’m happy – that’s reason enough for posting. :)
So now, without further ado, my twin grandbabies (who, by the way, are Kirkpatrick descendants)!
Time to start keeping our own records for future generations of family researchers
The genealogical community is abuzz with news that the long form of the Canada census has been tossed. As of next year’s census, 2011, everyone will receive just the short form to fill out. A voluntary “survey” will be sent out to about a third of households.
Folks who are not involved in genealogy are celebrating. Many found the long form, which only one in five households were asked to fill out in any given year, were onerous and intrusive. As a matter of fact, one Saskatchewan woman is doing battle in court over her refusal to fill out the long form.
But genealogists are less than pleased. For years, census data has offered important clues in family history research. An Edmonton Journal article says, “A door to Canada’s past has slammed shut, leaving future Canadians with little information about their own families and the country’s history, in a move the government says was prompted by privacy concerns.” This is exactly the kind of discussion I’m hearing in the genealogical circle.
Canadian census records are released to the public after 92 years for privacy reasons. The results of the voluntary “survey” will never be released to the public.
I have found some very valuable family information in census records. They brought my ancestors to life – I could see all the brothers and sisters, their ages, their neighbors, their father’s occupation. It’s sad that future researchers will come up against a brick wall on similar research.
I suppose that’s all the more reason for us to be writing out our own histories and gathering information together for future generations. Thank goodness for those of us who are the family “archivists” and story gatherers!
We all dream big dreams when we’re young, don’t we? Things are black and white and man, we’re going to change the world.
Let your light shine
But life often jades us. We get caught up in the day-to-day and lose our dreams along the way. We start to second-guess ourselves and wonder how we were foolish enough to think we could change anything.
That’s the premise of Pamela Slim’s moving blog entry, Note to younger self: you were right. In it, she reflects upon the big dreams of her college days. Surely, she says, “with compassionate hearts and some really good slide shows, we could fix everything.” After struggling with discouragement, years later Pamela discovers you can change the world – if not in grandiose ways, then one tiny corner at a time.
Here’s a really neat historical find I think you’ll like. I stumbled upon it by accident one day and then forgot about it. A place called Artfund has acquired an antique outfit that belonged to our very own Sir Thomas Kirkpatrick. I imagine that’s Sir Thomas who was the Bart of Closeburn. It looks to be in impeccable condition!
I’m really lucky in that I get to see my Dedy fairly regularly, as he lives just a couple hours’ drive away. Occasionally he comes in for family gatherings and appointments and – even more occasionally – I go out to his town for Legion events and just to hang out camping.
This blog post serves no purpose but to let my Dedy know how much I appreciate him and am so glad he is part of my life. I believe we choose before we’re born who we will be spending our lifetimes with and I do believe I chose well.