As a woman firmly planted in middle age as a member of Generation X, I found myself again this week watching the tragic events on the news with a tremendous feeling of sadness at the lives shattered and the continued loss of innocence for the new generation of children growing up in this world. Being born in the violent and turbulent 1960s, growing up it still felt like there was a protective cocoon around many elements of childhood. On a simple summer day, the worst thing you might have heard was “last one in is a rotten egg”
and the worst thing that could happen on a visit to the store for school supplies was that your mom might not buy you that cool Scooby Doo lunchbox. There was absolutely no idea that future generations could have bulletproof backpacks on their school supply checklist.
My first summer box office movies at the theater were Grease and Jaws and as children we thought everyone was at the theater to enjoy the movie and be petrified of ever jumping in the water again.
Last Friday when I went to the theater to see three of my favorite guys, Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham and Idris Elba, in Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw
the notice before movies to keep all of your belongings close and report any suspicious behavior hit me again as a reminder that the movie theater has joined a long list of places that are no longer safe zones for children without the watchful eyes of a parent.
I do not have any children (if you met any of my dogs over the years you would definitely appreciate that decision), but I vaguely remember what it was like to be a child
and it’s heartbreaking to know that the moments in a child’s life where they feel safe in their environment, whether it is in schools, stores, movie theaters, restaurants or walking through their neighborhood, is continually being threatened and shrinking.