Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Risks We Never Took

Here's something interesting (or not I suppose, depending on the viewpoint of you, the reader), but it is this: We were not the safest of children growing up. We ran about the neighborhood never thinking to tell a parent of our whereabouts. We walked to the store when it was dark outside. We spent many days running around on our roof (which makes me shudder to think of -- my parent's roof is very steep and high). Etc.

Despite our careless ways however, we did know that there were certain dangers you simply did not toy with. Certain risks you never took. How, or even if, my parents meant to impress only these things upon us, I am uncertain, but the impression was made, and the terrifying deeds were never done. (And as for the other areas where we were careless . . . well, that was in another time . . . a time when kids weren't kidnapped, and they didn't fall off roofs). Here are some of the things that were no joking matter in my family.

1. The lid removed from a can with a can opener. One sure fire way to invite trouble was to remove a lid with a can opener and then simply toss that lid in the garbage. Or worse, leave it hanging on the edge of the can. That simply was not done. You ALWAYS put the severed lid in the bottom of the can it was removed from. Otherwise later, when you were reaching your hand deep into the garbage (for some unknown reason) one of these razor sharp lids would most likely sever your hand (maybe your whole arm). It wasn't until I was married and on my own that I once in awhile threw one of these lids away not in the can, and even then, only if I was feeling especially bold and rebellious.

2. Plastic bags. I don't actually know if this came from my parents or school teachers, but I do know that if a plastic bag was put over your head . . . maybe not even put over your head, maybe just somewhere near your head . . . you would immediately suffocate. No no, you couldn't use your hands to remove the bag, you would be far too terrified and confused for that, and you would only have about five seconds before you were dead anyway, so . . .

3. Look for rocks before diving. Ironically, my dad had given us that advice for years BEFORE he himself dove into a sandbar or rock or something at a lake in Yellowstone -- nearly killing or paralyzing himself. I still recall seeing him come stumbling up the hill leaning on my brother and covered in blood. We certainly didn't question or mock that advice after that event.

4. Giggling so much with our friends that we didn't watch the road while we were driving. This advice may have not been heeded as well as the others . . . and it may have been given solely to me. I'm not sure, but ohhh my friends and I loved to laugh and laugh and laugh . . . and my dad lived in constant fear of the danger our giggling would subject us to.

5. Bang toys on the piano. OK, nothing dangerous would happen to you if you did this (other than incurring the wrath of my mother), but that was also one "forbidden" thing that came to mind. We may have jumped on couches and hung from banisters, but we did NOT bang toys on the piano.

Anyway, that's all. It just made me wonder about what things I am most adamant that my kids avoid. Perhaps I should just stick with those five because steering clear of those things did land me safely here -- in adulthood.

8 comments:

Perla said...

oh that is so funny! good thoughts. i remembered thinking how strange it was when i one time found our parents and kelly frantic and nearly in tears. i had told kelly i was going to walk over to her house (on 22nd street) then i saw josh as i was walking and he was going to the mall in his green truck and asked if i wanted to come. so i went with him instead of going to kelly's house. some 2 or 3 hours later i went to kelly's house to find her and our parents completely freaked out and almost going to call the police as i had started off to kellys and then just disappeared. of course our parents wouldn't have known except that kelly was calling our house wondering where i was.
so...i would do things like that. but i would never ever put a small, hard object in my mouth to suck on. that was horror of all horrors to our father.
the piano thing made me laugh. destroy anything in the house but don't touch the piano keys with anything but fingers!!!

Tia Juana said...

Yesterday Lois Lane and a friend washed their cars. When she came in to put away one of the million and two things she got out to use on the job I caught her putting away some extension cords back in their bin. She started to just throw them in and then she saw me looking and starting to say something to the effect of "Don't think for one second that you are going to put those cords in that bin without bundling them up because surely you found them in better shape than how you are holding them!" and she looked at me and gave me the biggest eye roll in the history of man and then stood there and bundled them up neatly with an air of total disgust. When I read your post I had a glimpse to a future blog post written by Lois Lane about unbundled extension cords and how a mother might strangle a child with one that was not properly bundled.

Nice post.

Mugsy said...

O I so rememeber Dad's warnings of the giggling.

jami said...

that seriously cracks me up!! i think we had that same "unwritten rule" about the lids of cans too. to this day i pause before i throw them away and think "i hope no one gets cut on that!"

i love that your dad was worried your giggling would lead you to trouble or an accident. :)

what a great list. it makes me want to make a list of my own. :)

Oysterblogger said...

Yes your family unit is a savage bunch, but maybe it is why you are such fun adults!!!! Will you see if you can come up to BookClub in July?? YOu can bring your baby.

Nancy said...

Tash, when is book club? It would be so fun, but always soooo hard to escape my family.

Amy said...

What about deadly sparkler wires? Hello? Would they not immediately pierce and burn your foot like a hot branding iron if you didn't put them in the garbage can lid? Yes they would. But it is okay to not wear a seat belt, pack over ten kids in the station wagon and oh hey if a few fall out, which happened at least 3 times that I know of, alls well that ends well.

Nancy said...

I'd forgotten the sparklers, Amy!! Yes, I knew that if we left one lieing about we would fall the next day and it would poke straight through my eyeball. The funny thing is, I am still just as sure that most of those things would likely happen.

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