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September 28, 2009



Actually, Donna, it just happened in Michigan. Here's a link to a news report about a Michigan woman who's been busted for watching her neighbor's kids, for free, for anywhere from 15 minutes to 40 minutes before they got on the bus, so their parents could get to work on time.



Thanks, Ellen! I had only just posted this piece when I turned to one of the blogs I regularly read and there was the story you've sent us a link to! I thought "no way!" - what a bizarre bit of timing.

So I've been following these two stories and it looks like that in both cases the Officials involved are talking about changing the laws - and that's great. But what concerns me is the limited thinking and atrophied creativity that led to such ridiculous laws in the first place - and not just that of the teeny tiny-brained people who created these laws, but the seriously scary people who implement them. Who are these people?! And I just am not interested in the excuse "it's to protect children" - sorry, that old chestnut has worn thin under over-use. Children do not need laws and strangers to protect them - they need their parents. And parents need societies which value parenting and family life so that they can parent as best they can - societies which value work at living wages (anyone remember the 40 hour week? when workers died fighting for that one 100 years ago, the point was not only to be not forced to work more hours than any human being should, but to be able to live on the wages one earned in the course of those hours), value mothering, value childhood...and so on. Laws can be helpful as guides - but they can't change human behavior. And they can't anticipate all the uncountable perambulations of human life and thus their effect can be worse than what they are meant to help in the first place.

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