By Jay Syrmopoulos | Free Thought Project
The message from the state is clear, either you keep your kids locked up in the house or you very well may be the one locked up. “You just don’t let them play outside.”
Austin, Texas – Children’s book author, Kari Anne Roy, received an unexpected visit from Child Protective Services (CPS) and the Austin Police Department recently. She was being investigated for allowing her son Isaac, 6, to play outside unsupervised.
Isaac and his eight-year-old sister had been playing outside at a park bench about 150 yards from their house, which is visible from their home’s front porch. When the sister came in the house the boy continued to play.
The child had been outside for all of 10 minutes when there she heard her doorbell ring. When she opened the door, expecting her son, there was a woman standing there that Roy didn’t know.
According to what Roy wrote on her blog, HaikuMama, the stranger asked,
“Is this your son?”
I nodded, still trying to figure out what was happening.
“He said this was his house. I brought him home.” She was wearing dark glasses. I couldn’t see her eyes, couldn’t gauge her expression.
“Yes. He was all the way down there, with no adult.” She motioned to a park bench about 150 yards from my house. A bench that is visible from my front porch. A bench where he had been playing with my 8-year-old daughter, and where he decided to stay and play when she brought our dog home from the walk they’d gone on.
“You brought him home… from playing outside?” I continued to be baffled.
And then the woman smiled condescendingly, explained that he was OUTSIDE. And he was ALONE. And she was RETURNING HIM SAFELY. To stay INSIDE. With an ADULT. I thanked her for her concern, quickly shut the door and tried to figure out what just happened.
Of course everyone knows there are many busybodies in the world, perhaps the rare sight of a child actually playing outside startled the woman, as it’s getting to be an uncommon occurrence for children to actually play outside in this day and age.