From our (electronic) mailbag:
Dear Let Grow Team:
I just found out about your organization tonight while browsing the internet, and I wanted to send a massive thank you your way.
I might have been a little more fortunate than some others in this aspect, but I still think I was a bit of an overprotected kid. I remember when I was younger I was constantly feeling the urge to run, explore, and play, and that urge was frequently shut down outside of several very specific, very adult-run "safe" environments.
I think that affected me in a very negative way, leading me to put on weight I still haven't fully lost, and left me with an anxiety that never seems to go away. Living in a post 9/11, terrified, helicopter-parented world was terrible. I guess I just wish I had the opportunity to have more fun and make some more mistakes, and grow in the process.
What you are doing is important, and what you are doing is right. I'm writing to make sure you understand that, and you understand you are appreciated. I'm a little pressed for cash right now, but rest assured you will one day receive a donation from me. Most of all, I'm writing to thank you on behalf of the kid who never received the opportunities you provide, and on behalf of all the kids are too young to thank you for the experiences you provided them, and on behalf of the kids I may one day have myself, who can grow up in a world a little more real than the one I was raised in.
Eric (and Let Grow) long for is a society that is not organized around fear, especially the fear that the moment kids are unsupervised they are doomed. His reference to 9/11 shows how all our fears get jumbled together: How does letting a kid ride his bike to the 7-Eleven have anything to do with airplane flying into buildings?
It doesn't. And yet, there they are, tangled together in one big hairball of anxiety.
This is hysteria. It is crippling our kids and our country. And it's unlikely that Eric is the only young person ready to push back.