Friday, July 11, 2014

Let ’Em Eat Dirt

Timothy Egan, NYT
JULY 10, 2014

In the tardy twilight of a Puget Sound evening, we caught a glimpse of a boy, maybe 6 or 7, playing in mud exposed by low tide. Ankle-deep in vibrant muck, he called out a discovery to his father.

“I found a bunch of baby crabs,” he said. “A jillion of them.” From there, he slipped into the woods, chasing some other curiosity of the natural world. A butterfly, I think. He disappeared for some time, without a word of concern from his parents.

“You don’t see much of that anymore,” a friend said.

Somehow, we’ve arrived at a moment when a kid playing by himself, Internet-free and helicopter-parentless, is a surprising thing. Huck Finn may be deep in the American DNA, but he’s disappeared from the summer landscape, replaced by the boy in the bubble. No dirt, no unplanned moments, and no time for discovery.

(More here.)

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