Safety…one day

Martin and I don’t subscribe to a notable child-rearing technique. But I call our personal style “hippie parenting.”

Hippie, because the kids tear around barefoot and naked. In the summer we dip them in the pool instead of bathing them. And the older ones frequently pee outside — sometimes sprinting past perfectly serviceable plumbing in favor of the front lawn. (“Use a bush! Not right by the steps!” I holler as they streak by.)

Lately however, I’ve swapped hippie for “seventies” parenting.

Which I use as a license to be stupid with the kids.

I grew up in the 1970s when kids careened around on bikes without helmets. We played in the street and rode in the backseat without seat belts. Parents locked kids in cars, with the windows cracked, while they ran errands.

Car seats? My parents made a baby box that they used to transport me in their MG (and its non-existent backseat). The box looked like a little coffin. It was painted bright-yellow and they drilled some holes in the wood, threading through a homemade harness.

Of course safety standards have evolved exponentially and I shouldn’t use the seventies as an excuse for reckless parenting.

But I survived, right?

That’s what I thought this weekend as Cayden rode Bugsy bareback, in shorts, without a helmet. While Brynn led the pony down the drive.

Barefoot.

Hazards, too numerous to mention

We violated the principle doctrines of horsemanship. And one day we’ll have a pony who is not meticulously cautious. A pony who steps on toes, who shies at screaming children and kicks someone’s lights out. One day we’ll need to step up our game.

Not sure what’s going on here

Oddly enough, while Brynn refused shoes, she insisted on wearing her riding boots to bed. I tried slipping them off after she fell asleep and she woke screaming. I hastily shoved them back on again.

It’s progress I guess.

And if there’s an emergency and we need to harness the horses and pull up stakes in the middle of the night…

…she’ll be ready to ride.