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Just A Thought - Calling 911 for kids on bikes
Lisa Hobbs, new mugshot.jpg

Children were better off before devices like gaming consoles, cell phones, iPads and computers. 

We’d:

• Use sidewalk chalk to make masterpieces. Construct hopscotch boards that would provide hours of fun and until our legs gave out. Yes, some were in the roadway. We learned to watch and listen for cars.

• Waste dish soap to make bubbles. Not as easy as it sounds to do that. It was a mad science experiment to get the ratio of water and soap just right, or no bubbles. 

• Build forts out of whatever we could find. Our version included throwing rocks at one another. I called for a time out (bathroom break), but got hit in the head with a rock anyway. 

• Make mud pies. Cleanliness wasn’t part of this activity. We got very dirty, regardless of “diligent” efforts not to. 

• Have water balloon fights. It was always epic, because everyone got soaked. No participation trophies in this sport. The last one with a balloon lost.

• Play hide-and-seek and the occasional game of tag. Tag wasn’t as fun. There was a safe zone. Some would stay close to that spot. 

• Build a playhouse. Much as it is today, lumber was hard to come by. We didn’t get very fair before running out of lumber or nails. 

• Catch lightning bugs in a jar. I feel sorry for the little critters now. Our child-like innocence didn’t include the damage done to the creatures. 

• Climb trees. Got stuck in the top of one once. I got myself up there, so I had to get myself down.

• Ride bikes through the neighborhood and all over town. One didn’t have brakes. Very dangerous. I wrecked going downhill. Scratches everywhere not covered by clothing. No helmet. 

Mom would kick us out of the house right after breakfast on Saturdays because the weather was nice and we needed to be outside – the reason she gave to get some peace and quiet. We willingly went.

Via the scanner last week, law enforcement was asked to check on children riding bicycles in the roadway and in a parking lot. Just check on their well-being. Then, it was stated, “the bicycles might be stolen.” However, the caller couldn’t give any reason why they thought that.

When did riding bicycles become a cause for a 911 call? I felt sorry for that law enforcement officer who was then required to question these children about why they were riding bicycles, as opposed to being indoors on PlayStations, and if the bikes were actually stolen.

I’m thankful for the childhood I did have, minus its electronic devices. Today’s children are missing out on so many fun activates and life lessons. Most are trapped, albeit voluntarily, indoors. When some do venture outdoors, the police are called. I did not understand that. Is seeing children riding bicycles so rare now it’s a cause for concern? I guess so. 

Standard reporter Lisa Hobbs can be reached at 473-2191.