So it started over at Free Range Kids the other day with a dad frustrated that his kid's school had roped off a 3 foot dirt incline because someone had fallen, then it's over at The Stir, a mom with an accident prone 4 year old afraid of a DCFS visit over a black eye. And, I'll admit, I've been a little nervous that some moron would call DCFS upon seeing summer bruises on my son, because, as I'm sure we can all attest to, such moronic busy-bodies exist. How is it that we as a society have come so far from normal that bumps and bruises are 'troubling' and not a normal part of growing up? Bruises, scrapes, cuts, strawberries, splinters, knots, and the occassional black eye, broken bone, or stitches is just proof of a full and outgoing childhood. When I occassionally meet grown ups who have never had a broken bone or stitches I am baffled. How did they reach adulthood without passing through those necessities of play? My brother broke his arm in a pillow fight. I broke my wrist falling from a bike (as well as a toe playing a massive water fight at camp, a couple of fingers in random events, my nose during a baseball game, and my foot in track, I've had more than the average number of broken bones I admit, but still, not abnormally so). My brother got his first stitches after a bike crash when he was about 6. My first batch waited until a bad spill involving a barbed wire fence in 4th grade. But those are major injuries, that I hope my too little ones wait a few years for, but the standard 'ok who's bleeding on my floor' cuts from thorns or rocks and the standard bruises from running into stuff start about the same time they start walking. How could they not?
Kids are not china dolls, they aren't butterflies, and they have these wonderful things called bones that do an awesome job of protecting the delicate bits. Now I'm all for helmets on bikes, anything you can go faster than you can run on common sense should dictate some form of protection. But let's start remembering that those bruises, scrapes, and so forth are badges of growth and not to be ashamed of or hidden. Mentally tell those idiots who think kids should be raised in giant bubbles to go jump off a cliff in one, and stop worrying what might happen if one of them sees evidence of kids being kids.
Go collect some bruises with your kids, I bet you'll have fun doing it. :)