A baby boomer has told me multiple stories about growing up in Tupelo as a free-range kid, who walked, ran or rode his bike all over town for fun and distraction.
One day he and his friend found some dynamite.
Yeah, they got their pyrotechnic jollies with a dilapidated structure – everything went BOOM!
No one was hurt, and his mama’s been dead several years and can no longer worry about what could’ve been.
(You might be shocked to learn how much responsibility those kids grew up to wield.)
I’m from Generation X. We’re the ones who were going to bring down America, like the baby boomers were supposed to do before us.
Now it’s the Millennials who are destined to destroy our great and powerful country, and I think they can do it, too.
Millennials are a little bit too nice, don’t you think? They’re so darn pleasant that they must be up to something.
But back to me, a Gen-Xer.
I also was a free-range kid. I never blew anything up, but I was in a couple of stupid bottle rocket battles that I would appreciate your not telling my mother about.
Speaking of my mother, there were times when I was ordered to get out of the house. It didn’t matter where, just out.
The point is my childhood came with ample freedom and I survived, just like the baby boomers did.
If you’re reading this, you obviously survived, too, so congratulations, though I don’t know if yours was free-range survival or more of a gilded cage type of thing.
My kids – I haven’t heard if their generation has a name yet – are of the gilded cage variety.
(Hey, I’m going to go ahead and put forth Gilded Cagers as a potential generation name. Consider it for a while, talk about it amongst yourselves and get back to me. No rush.)
Why would I want my kids in a gilded cage? Well, I don’t, but there are reasons for it.
First, I could’ve been killed or maimed at least three times that I remember, and there could’ve been more dances with death that slipped my notice.
Second, there are more people on the roads these days, and many of them use fingers that should be on steering wheels to type the letters “lol” on their phones.
(Another side note: I would hate for my last communication to the world to be the letters “lol” but I’d feel privileged to actually laugh out loud a moment before the darkness overtakes me.)
The third and worst reason to keep my kids in a gilded cage is because everybody else is doing it.
The current situation can’t stand. I know the kids need more freedom, mainly because Millennials might fail to destroy America.
Who’ll be left to accomplish the deed? My kids, of course. They’ll need to be ready.
M. Scott Morris is a Daily Journal feature writer. Contact him at (662) 678-1589 or firstname.lastname@example.org.