One of my neighbors bought a trampoline for their kids this week. Now, I have not seen a trampoline since my childhood, so I'm quite taken back and how "safe" they've become. Every metal surface is covered with at least four inches of foam padding, and there is literally a four foot high net that surrounds the jumping area to keep the kids from falling out. Understand I'm not advocating kids plummet to their death while enjoying some time away from the Xbox, but it got me to thinking about all of the other things that have changed since I was young.
We fell off trampolines. We jumped our bikes off 4 foot ramps built from old plywood and sometimes we didn't land rubber side down. We had monkey bars, slides 20 feet off the ground, and some of us touched the bright glowy red part of the stove ONCE. We all lived, and most of us picked up cool scars and stories in the process. We grew. We learned. Someone pointed out to me recently that it's not our choices that most shape our lives, but our mistakes. By child-proofing the world and placing kids in a bubble, are we taking away their ability to simply be kids?