Sleeping Out

Ok, just a little little observation about the times and how they are a changing.  Some of the best memories I have as a kid are sleeping out in the backyard.  We would set our tents up during the day in the summer while our parents were at work then that night we would bring our comic books, sleeping bags, pop, chips, candy and playing cards and pile into the tent for the night.  About 12:00 or 1:00am we would get bored and set out for some walks thru the neighborhood.  Hoping thru backyards, walking down the middle of empty streets, heading to 7-11 for some refills on candy….it was a blast.  Finally, we would crash back in the tent about 3:00am.  I am pretty sure at least some of our parents knew we were gone but they were ok with that. 

Now, we didn’t destroy things (sure, we may have egged a house or two) or steal anything.  Anything we may have did was pretty minor.  We just had fun being together and sleeping out (in the big city, you don’t get out to the country too much so this was our “adventure”).  

Now, contrast that with today.  No WAY am I letting my kids sleep out like that.  Sure, they can sleep out but they better not leave the backyard.  No way would I let them wander the neighborhood, especially if I still lived up in a suburb of Detroit.  Not only would I fear for their safety from the perverts, drug dealers and crazies out there these days but also, today, “fun” is not so innocent.  It’s more  like setting cars on fire, breaking into homes, getting drunk and jumping girls.  Not that I would think my kids would do anything like that, but the people who would do things like that are out there with them.

Isn’t it strange how times change so fast?  When I talk about this, the time frame is the late 70’s early 80’s when I was a kid and sleeping out.  Can you imagine your 10 or 12 year old out, walking the streets of your neighborhood at 1:00am these days?


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10 Responses to “Sleeping Out”

  1. anonymous Says:

    when i was a kid my parents didn’t even lock the doors. we could run around the neighborhood, in and out of other kids’ houses, to the corner store… my parents may have feared skinned knees, but they didn’t worry about pedophiles or gang members. it’s sad my girls missed out on that.

  2. Roland Says:

    This is funny…in Jr High or maybe it was 9th grade, my one buddy had a sister my age. She complained (whined) to her Mom why she couldn’t sleep out with her friends or walk up to the store late at night like her brother could. I would never forget the response “Boys don’t get raped! That’s why!”.

  3. Jeff Slater Says:

    Good times. I remember riding our bikes all over the place at 2 in the morning. It was great — everything was quiet, there weren’t even any cars on the road. And like you said, we never vandalized or stole anything. We just kept an eye out for police (because they would have taken us back to our parents!)

    When my son gets a bit older, I probably wouldn’t mind too much if he did some of those things. But we live in a small town.

  4. AvaP. Says:

    We just moved into a neo-traditional neighborhood
    ( ) so our kids could get those same experiences. It is so fun for them to walk up to the store and get candy or go to walk to Coldstone and get an ice cream for $57.00! They feel so “free” and they are just 1/4 mile from home! We love it. What I hate for the kids of the 00’s is that by FIFTH grade they know WAY to much about sex, drugs, feeling bad about yourself, divorce, abuse,porn…. We feel like it is our obligation to bombard CHILDREN with this “wealth of adult knowledge” because it is for their own protection. No wonder we have children who are violent, stressed out don’t quite know what to do with themselves. They are children dealing with adult issues. It gets me so angry thinking about it . Excuse me while I go sign my fifth graders “sex-talk” permission slip.

  5. Roland Says:

    I knew a lot about that stuff by 5th grade just from other kids. You know…it’s actually not really fair in some regards. When I was a kid, if we wanted to see porn, we had to hope to come across a dirty magazine in a garbage can or maybe your friends older brother left one lying around. These days, they click a mouse twice and they see everything. It’s not fair I tell you! They should have to suffer just like we did!!! lol.

  6. Odgie Says:

    We used to sneak out a lot. I know that my parents would not have approved but we felt perfectly safe being out on the streets of our suburb at 1 or 2 in the morning. Now, when I have kids, I am going to have alarms on the doors and windows and will probably be checking on them hourly when they get older. No, I don’t approve of over-protective parenting but the world is sadly, a much different place.

  7. Roland Says:

    I was walking to school when I was 5 yrs old and that was about a half mile away. We won’t let our kids walk to their friends house by themselves which is just down the street!

  8. anonymous Says:

    ***or go to walk to Coldstone and get an ice cream for $57.00!***

    THAT was funny!

  9. Roland Says:

    I’ve been meaning to do a moratorium on that! No time like the present.

  10. Ava Says:

    We got so fed up that now we take them to Kroger and let them pick out a gallon of ice cream, candy bars and whipped cream for half the price and they have a great time mixing it. I kid you not, the last time we went it cost us thirty dollars! Crazy!

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