Yet here in the nice, safe, scurvy-free twenty-first century, we worry about our kids riding their bikes to the library, or walking to school. We worry when we can’t reach them on their cells. In fact, cell phones–though I love them dearly–are a great example of how everything has gotten so mixed up. We give them to our kids because we don’t want to worry. We say, “They’re for emergencies.” And yet now, if you ex- pected to hear from your daughter after her Mandarin lesson and you can’t reach her immediately, you may well start to think: What happened?! Lost, dead or white slavery? (Which, for our purposes, includes Hispanic, Asian American, African American, Native American, and Inuit slavery, too.)FREE RANGE KIDS (Intro) by Lenore Skenazy
So now the phone–the very device that was supposed to reas- sure you–is making you freak out when you never would have freaked before. Back in the good ol’ 1990s, you’d at least have waited for your kid to be a few minutes late before the heart-stopping scenarios kicked in. Now anxiety is on speed dial.
And so we worry all the time: Is he safe? Is she OK? Did he eat all his baby carrots? (Answer: no.) And what happens when we don’t worry?
I write books. My latest is a YA science fiction novel called Homeland (it's the sequel to Little Brother). More books: Rapture of the Nerds (a novel, with Charlie Stross); With a Little Help (short stories); and The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow (novella and nonfic). I speak all over the place and I tweet and tumble, too.