Photo: Clare goes bush. I would hate to think that I had brought my daughters up to be wimps. And, yes, the photo does have a very loose connection to this story!
In response to comments from blogging friends on my last post, I do wear baggy pants and do not follow clothing fashions. Rather, I wait for clothing fashions to come back to me.
I wore an old shirt today. Still in good condition, it went with a suit that I bought in Canberra. A 28 year old colleague commented on the new shirt, and I had to explain that it was two years older than her.
Now how on earth does all this link to the picture?
In an over-protective age in which the words "risk minimisation" and "risk management" are all the go, a world in which informed consent procedures associated with a simple school camp now rival those associated with major surgery, I have tried to give my girls continued access to what I see as the real world.
Both girls have been dirty and tired, both have lit fires in the backyard, both have had at least some exposure to the country, both have been allowed to stretch their wings. Dee and I have gritted our teeth sometimes, but so far it seems to have worked.
No-one can give them access to the world I had. That world is gone. Apart from anything else, so many of the things that I did are now illegal or have been removed for fear of public liability. Others have been crowded out by increased population. Today we live in a world of, from my viewpoint, severely limited freedoms.
But children must be given freedom to grow as best they can within the increasingly constricted limits set by modern society. And part of this involves the freedom to refuse to accept current fashions.
I like the pic of your backyard. Very trendy indeed. Native gardens must be back in fashion because of the drought.
This comment struck my sense of whimsey. Think of the problems I must have faced in getting the necessary council approvals to transform my suburban back yard. And the engineering challenges. And all just to give my girls the required outdoor experience!