From childhood to geezerhood I’ve spent time in Maine whenever I could. My father a Maine native, wanted us to have the same experience.
During my World War II childhood, we lived in New York City. Bombs never reached us, but polio did. The disease was often picked up at public swimming pools.
So Dad scouted out a place on Casco Bay with cottages for rent. Through the New York winters we walked wherever we could, and, took subways and buses when we couldn’t. We learned to navigate the city, and saved our gas rationing coupons for the summer trip to Maine. With only two-lane roads, and a wartime highway speed limit of 35 miles per hour, it took us two days
In Maine, Mother could say “Go on out and play. Just be back for dinner.” Surrounded by water and woods, we did that.
Today, my grandchildren schedule play dates. Suburban neighborhoods require carpooling parents to pack kids in the car and take them to their friends, lessons, and sports.
When I grew to high school and college, rules and curfews kept me safe. I worked as a summer waitress at a resort. Both my work and college dorms, required us to be in by eleven or answer to the housemother. Employers and colleges felt that underage girls deserved protection.
But today, after careful childhood supervision, students are suddenly thrown into more freedom than they may be prepared to handle. After a closely watched childhood, some transition on the way to total liberty probably wouldn’t hurt.