Too often I see the words 'for the kids' or 'because of the children' and I am supposed feel for them and be protective of their innocence. And I do love kids, but I want them to escape, to try, to dare, to run and scream or sit silently and watch and question, or read.
The Dutch farmer with goats noticed the kids and the children had shared characteristics and lovingly called them kids. One syllable and very easy to spell the Americans used it a lot and still do. Kids. Unfortunately, like Saint Nicholas, the word morph'd and times changed. The Dutch farmer (boer) would expect his kids to grow, and learn, and work and become adults and take over the farming when the old folks wore weary.
Now, it seems that kids aren't able to grow up, they certainly are protected from work (exploitation?) by government agencies and do-good'rs. And since education is a growth industry, everyone should keep the kids, children or kinder forever... and ever... Amen.
It hasn't always been that way. People once believed that children are supposed to grow up, be responsible, and accountable. Abe Lincoln paid all his earning to his father until he was twenty-one, Kit Carson fled his apprenticeship and the reward was a whole penny if he was caught and returned. He was on his way to Santa Fe at sixteen and a life full of adventure as a short but capable young man. Maybe Peter Pan and the lost boys, and the ever sensible Wendy were over used by Disney and the idea of 'won't grow up' was musically etched in our minds.
Our culture seems to kill a lot of kids, unborn and still growing infants, children and youth. There is a thought that they freeze in time and place - but they are growing and that is by design, and this too will change should be every thought when looking at the young. Expanding one's control of this fast moving, faster growing and constantly a threat to our tranquility (they are our replacements! kill them before we are out numbered and over worked trying to stamp them out) is an impossible task.
Those that want to pretend that life isn't dynamic, that humans aren't ready to be hammered into round holes like square pegs are likely the same folks that think you can predict behavior based on your perception of the life form and ones vast experience base listening to fools, are fools. Life is precious, life is to be loved and never smothered, by control or pillows or plastic bags.
Our founding fathers, those fine folks that resisted the King and Parliament's tyranny, they didn't do it for the children, or their kids. They did it for their Posterity, which in modern America seems to be mixed up with Prosperity.
It could very well be, that as the children of Lexington awoke to the battle on the Green, between their training band and the three light infantry companies, they still worried about their animals, their mothers, their friends and getting something to eat and getting on with the day - which was certainly going to be different.
Current culture must be too self centered, like I am the most important consideration, while long ago the family and its survival was central. Then the village, the community, the larger and larger units of shared values, experiences and common goals. But then, we hardly consider family, or posterity those are things that other philosophies want to destroy and deny... but their true value is not considered, is it?