41 votes

Stranger danger mamby pamby bull crap is depriving your children.

It's time to make a mountain out of a mole hill and no better cause.

We have this 100% opposite feeling about child rearing and I do feel this fight is best subjected to the light of day.

I responsed to this post about how we love our children and caress them and somebody was like eeeeeeew that's not cool, and you aren't allowed to talk about yumming them up yum yum yum....and how children are so beautiful you just want to live inside their skin.

Anyways I thought I would just tell you how different the place where I came from was.

I grew up on a mountain that we owned in a town that we owned most of that too and everybody knew us and we knew them and there were practically no rules, only encouragement.

Everyplace in town we needed to get to including school we ran through the woods because being a good runner was a value system.

When we got to school, the town drunk was there to meet us. He was called Mr. Finch. He was a WW2 vet that didn't come back right from the war. Every now and then he would put on Sinatra on the loud speakers at school and he would literally dance with a mop but man he really made that mop look like it was enjoying itself. But his other job was he was the town constable. See becaues in our world, the one that was, you didn't ostrasize the town drunk, you gave him a gun and a badge and you put him directly in contact with small children.

We could go anyplace we wanted and do anything we wanted short of burning the whole town down which I think we tried at least twice. We got to fish in every pond, we got to swim in every river, we got to climg every tree, it ALL BELONGED TO US and when it thundered and stormed we piled into whomever's house was closest, we barely knocked on the doors and every house, every adult was always cramming food down our hungry throats. And if it was really snow-stormy we'd just camp out at whomever's place, it didn't matter and the adults were either on the phone or sending signals like a fire that says "hey if you happen to notice an absence of kids at your house, they are all over here".

And did they touch us?

Man did they ever. Pick us up and hurl us into the lake, swat our behinds when we got a bit too brash, pick us upside down and tickle us and sometimes just smile and touch us and bless us.

See I grew up in an atmosphere of 100% trust. We were the kids and they were our parents and that was the way it was. And it was even that way with our animals. My grandmother would call the bear and they would come to her like dogs and eat scraps from her fingers and if a buck bear got out of hand she would shake her finger in their face and scold them and say "now you be a gentlman sir" and the bear would be all shame faced.

The mare bears used to bring their cubs each year for her to inspect. You guys want to talk about fondling children? I grew up fondling bear and racoon kids. Nobody was allowed to hunt the animals on our mountain and that was called the Promise. It's a very old promise that we believed came from Noah and God that we are to be married to the animals, true animal husbands and there is a promise that if we take care of them, they will take care of us. And everything to us was ALIVE. The mountain was ALIVE. the waters were ALIVE. It's so hard to tell you how but everything had a tunka. A heart. We used to relay messages through trees. Before there was email there was treemail and they can and still do relay simple messages like "we are happy" or "we need help".

That netword still exists but you guys don't use it. The trees don't know why, they think you are angry at them. And they wonder why you don't care for them like we used to. Cause we knew every tree, their parents, this was our forest and we lived with them and they gave us wonderful things like maple syrup and they heated our houses and we used them to build snow shoes but because of THE PROMISE we would always tend to them and nurture them to insure their continuance for the people who need them.

Ok let's get back to this strangely uncomfortabel issue and I'll start by saying that you people seem to have this impulse to clothe children. We let them run around naked and barefoot. And even worse, HORROR OF HORRORS we pick them up and swing them around and do the foot yum game. And always the circles.

Circles. The Sacred Hoop.

Everything to a native american goes in circles. You have a serial concept of time and we have a circular one. The sun walks a circle through the sacred 4 directions, the moon is a circle, the circle is female but out childrens faces are circles, their little arms and legs are circles and yes the adults would caress us and touch us and we just loved it.

I grew up in paradise.

Were there harsh aspects? Yes indeed, they used to beat us when we were under discipline and some parents were harsher and some more lenient and if you didn't like home you just ran through the woods to somebody else's house. And same thing, adult picks up phone, hey are you missing a kid? Well he's over here and he said he did his home work and we'll send him to school in the morning and he'll probably end up back at your place.

I wish. Ho gods I wish with all my heart that I could do that and be that for you and your kids.

Tragically somebody found coal under our mountain. It's not there anymore. All of our people including the bear and the racoons and the geese and the birds and all of it, gone and it's never coming back. That little mountain town is now the domain of rich people with summer houses they never visit. And only the wind remembers our name. And the waters. The water longs for us to sing to it again.

The only thing I can do is try to build a mountain in your heart so that your door be open to children and all you have to do is cram food into them and then they will trust you and you get to look at them and interact with them and be part of their lives and you will be their parents. Like I am gifted to be with this little guy called Dayton (Day-Day) who escapes from his tyrannical mother on a regular basis and just goes peeling down the street naked as a jaybird in his bare feet and nothing else and I'm like this kid has to be part indian. Cause we like being naked, it feels good, you get to feel the wind on your parts. And yes I get to pick up little Day Day and that involves feeling his bony litle butt. Which is totally awesome. He has a cute little butt. Day Day don't care, he's busy using you as a jungle gym, sticking his little hands into your mouth....

And now you tell your kids not to trust strangers and stranger danger and people that interface with children are somehow bent.

OK. I see that too now. I'm just telling you another viewpoint. All I'm trying to do is tell you that you lost something that you maybe didn't know you had. And I'm hoping you will find it again. Because if you do then maybe you can do what was done for me and us kids which is only the most SPECTACULAR AND FABULOUSLY AWESOME EXPERIENCE WE DID GROWING UP.


Can I help you regain it?

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What we are is a make up of our memories

I feel the same way smudge pot, although I probably wouldn't describe it the same. I don't really love kids, but I'm great with kids.

This is what I hate:
When I'm playing with other peoples kids and I always think to myself "Am I being a creepy dude? I'm not being creepy right?", which, I guess, is more a perspective thing, and I probably only think this way just because I don't have a family of my own. Apart from a few dates, I haven't really dated seriously since I moved here, and my standards went way up since finding Ron Paul. I get weird thoughts in my head like "Since people don't see me dating, they will think I don't get laid often, and because of that, they will think I will touch their kids inappropriately" or some crap like that.

That feeling isn't normal, it's based on perception, and I always wish I could rid myself of it.

I've worked in daycare for over 10 years, and kids just seem to be drawn to me. I have had kids run up to me and grabbed my leg while I'm eating in a restaurant, and parents tell me their kids are normally afraid of people. I usually just tell them to go back to their parents, but it feels like I'm shooing them. I hate that feeling of cautiousness when handling kids. It's like making people happy is suddenly wrong. I always have the urge to play with them, to just make them laugh, and help them enjoy childhood a little more. It could just be I'm ready to settle down and have my own kids now that I'm getting older.

I have a high risk life, and a single bad reputation can destroy me, even if the people are just ignorant about any random accusations that are made about me. I'm sure all it could take is some liberal watching me physically turn their kid around and push them back in the direction of their parents and yell out "He touched my child!" It's possible it would only take one, so I can't even allow even one.

Very sad world we live in these days..

We were at my aunts house early on July 4th and I was in the pool with all the kiddoes. A friend of my cousin has a little girl about three or four years old who wanted to keep jumping off the steps and let me catch her. If we didn't know her mom so well, there is no way I could have let myself do that, and I find that very depressing.

I'm with you Smudge, and I've said it a million times..kids are so darn cute you just want to eat them up. I love snuggling with my little ones when the chance comes my way..they grow up so darn fast.

Great writing, and a great reminder that we have all been affected by this new, not so brave world that we have accepted as ours. If we feel this way, imagine the average Joe who believes that every car is a kidnapper or child molester, or that there are terrorist hiding around the corner just waiting to kill you because you are supposedly "free". Sounds ridiculous, but that's the brain trust that we're working with.

A wonderful story of days

A wonderful story of days gone by

Stories told to me as a child by my Great Grandfather are a cherished part of my being.
I can’t put into words the effect some of this information has had on the way I think about life.

As I become the elder of the family and of the dirt where I grew up, I hope I can teach through story something that my Grandchildren will ponder and remember me by.


Michael Nystrom's picture

Beautiful work Smudge

Sometimes I wonder why I keep this place alive, and then I read something like this and it helps me to remember.


Can I help you regain it?

You just did.

I was just making mental list

the other day of bad and crappy trends that began during
the Reagan administration - police state stuff, bunch of federal
overreach supposedly to go after "deadbeat dad" and welfare
cheats, civil forfeiture (AKA theft)...and this whole thing about
stranger abductions and putting missing kids on milk cartons
and general paranoia bout "strangers" & such was very much
on the list.

Not that there weren't/aren't tragic cases like that, but it still
has the feeling of being social engineering to isolate and frighten
people and to get them to accept and welcome the state as all-
powerful protector/enforcer...

It's truly sickening to see parents persecuted for allowing kids
to do stuff that should (in a saner world) be considered healthy
and normal behavior. (Spend some time one policestateusa.org
and you'll find plenty of examples.)

We generally had household chores to do on weekends, and if we
didn't and the weather was good we and most of the neighbor kids
would be told to go play outside and come back when it was dark -
and we tended to push that envelope.

We sometimes organized bicycle races, borrowed garden tools and
made forts in the blackberry patches down by the creek, occasionally
would ask if we could go shoot our 22's - and just hike a mile or less
over the hill and out of town to shoot if we had permission.

My next door neighbor and I spent the better part of a whole afternoon
digging what turned out to be a wagon axle out of a creek bank one time
- I think he may still have it...

Try doing *that* on an I-phone.

What you describe isn't all

What you describe isn't all that much different than the way many of us grew up in the country or even the burbs in the 50s and 60s. Well, less streaking and fewer bears I suppose.

But kids ran free and the dogs did too. We ranged as far and wide as our available mobility (feet, bikes, motorbikes) allowed and the only parental rules were to be back by sundown or let em know where you were. And there was an unspoken understanding among parents that responsibility extended to whatever kids happened to be in their vicinity.

My neighbor has youngsters ages 5-8. He sets out danger cones in the street before he lets 'em out in the street on their bikes, with their helmets. And we live in a cul de sac. When I was their age I was wandering into the woods alone to fish, or exploring "distant lands" with my friends.

I tried to provide the same childhood opportunities for my kids, but by the 80's and 90's life in the further burbs didn't even remotely resemble my childhood experience. It's sad, really, that we live in such fear of each other.

I must be willing to give up what I am in order to become what I will be. Albert Einstein

That was really good!

I can remember being an 10yr. old girl riding my bike 6 blocks by myself to get a gallon of milk at a 7-11 if we needed it. We lived in the suburbs and really never worried about things(although my Dad would make me come in when it got dark..but not my brothers).
I can also remember we couldn't ride our bikes in the street, but when we did neighbors would call our parents if they saw us and most of the mothers were at home back then...attending to their children and households while visiting each other. Everyone had each others' back.
Life sure was different.

And they call it progress

Your reminiscence touches not only memories of my own childhood but my heart too, the foot yum-yums (In our house we called them Nom-noms) along with plenty of belly raspberry blows bring a smile to my face to this day.

It's a sad world when something like an encounter with a crying child can cause a soul searching dilemma, stopping to console and comfort the little mite may well require defensive actions against the pervert police.


October Sky

This brought to mind a movie I recently saw called October Sky. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0132477/ I found myself watching several scenes thinking, can you imagine how much stink would be raised if they were doing that today? But it is all stuff a lot of us did and you're still here and so are our neighbors and neighborhoods, the state is safe and was at no time under attack. I think you get my point. Good movie though.

Feels like

frog medicine Smudge...pulling us out of the mire, the bog, the quicksand!

And the "shamed-faced bear", that was great, I will probably never forget that image. Introspective.

Freedom is not: doing everything you want to.
Freedom is: not having to do what you don't want to do.
~ Joyce Meyer

I passed through there yesterday on the way to today.

Come on in, don't be a stranger. There is nothing to lose here, but fear , despair and doubt.

Skating away on the thin ice of a new day:

Free includes debt-free!

Dang Smudge

You made me all teary eyed. Lol
Reminds me of my childhood growing up poor in the western-central portion of the Appalachians. Best years of my life. Been trying to get back since I left. Heck I didn't even know I was poor until the county officials told me. Lol.

"A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself within" W. Durant

jrd3820's picture

This is great Smudge

I agree with Bill below, this is one of your best if you ask me.

I work with kids, I love kids, and they seem to be magnetically drawn to me probably because I am a child still. The one family I babysit for lives in a neighborhood filled with other children their age and when I show up to babysit, all the kids come out to play. It is unfortunate that I am often a bit nervous as to having that many kids around. Don't get me wrong, I love all of them, and they are all welcome to come play, but when they are changing into bathing suits to go play in the sprinkler or when they fall and scrape their legs all up, I don't mind supervising and assisting, but unfortunately one in my position has to worry about other parents and hope they don't mind either.

Anyways, your childhood sounds amazing, and this was a very well written and thoughtful post.

Ask yourself why should you

Ask yourself why should you feel that you have to worry at all?
This is a recent thing for Men to feel this way. It isn't natural.

Nobody thought that way when I was growing up. Smudge isn't wrong for loving kids and neither are you. It is wrong that you should feel any anxiety at all. It's just another symptom of how fk'd up our society has become.

"The United States can pay any debt it has because we can always print money to do that." — Alan Greenspan

You scallywag

I know who you are!

jrd3820's picture


Check your poem thread.

Sweet post Smudge!

Very interesting to learn about your childhood and the culture. It sounds awesome and you had me emotional there while I was reading. I agreed with almost everything you said. I totally agree this softy "stranger danger" fits more with protective "liberal types" that have "protected the life" out of their kids and now their kids will now be oddities to the world, and be afraid of everybody and their mother.

I am jealous of your childhood, that culture, and jealous of all the people that got to experience that culture; that would be amazing, very enlightening and liberating and would give me alot of hope in people.

The only thing I didn't agree with was any "religious" affiliation; Noah, the sacred circles and so on. I don't agree with superstition. But I do agree with PRINCIPLES. And "the promise" was a principle that you guys were adhering to; I support that.

And I'm sorry that world no longer exists Smudge, I'm sorry the mountain got bought for resources. I wish people could still life freely in the world you described.

This post touches so many aspects on so many levels...

I almost don't know where to start. Many stories. As repressed as I am myself I thought of coming out of the gate to break the ice with my most hardcore of stories and drive home the whole ball of wax in my first paragraph. Relax John, look were you are, Smudge readers are patient and not desperately addicted to controversy.

My childhood was not spent but invested on a large island in a lake called Minnetonka. I sense that I was steeped in waters of great spirit. No cars or paved streets. Most adults were parents and WWII vets who enjoyed their drinking and letting us kids run around naked as we please in summer weather. Not all houses housed parents and those were the houses most mysteriously spooky to us kids until we'd inevitably find that upon being eventually trapped in interaction with the weird kidless hermits, that they told the best stories and often bore gifts. They were the magical wise warlocks and witches. Good things come to those who stay on their good side.

I was touched with spank from others' parents. I was also tenderly bandaged about my butt by a neighbor lady who saved my ass from fom her crazed German Shepard. The dog had punctured four holes deep in my butt cheek before she pulled him off me. She spent what seemed like an hour tenderly cleaning and bandaging me. Was my own mother more qualified to bandage me? Certainly not! The lady with the German Shepard had much more experience with bandaging butts. :D

I've never sat on a bench while with my kids at the playgound. What I like best about playgrounds is that when there's a crowd I get to play with many kids and not just my own. Some parents don't bat an eye. Some parents, seeing that I'm playing with their children, come to interrogate me directly. I never take offense or feel nervous. In fact I love getting the easy opportunity to meet them, however intimidating they may present themselves. I've found modern parents to largely walk around with the seemingly constant fright of pedophilia somewhere, however small but constantly churning in their minds. I have inevitably found the kids that most eagerly play with me, latch onto me, and follow me around vying for as much attention as they can get, are inevitably the ones with the most uptight parents. The kids that come closest to virtually saying "Please take me home with you" are the children whose parents are closest to virtually saying "Don't play with my kids. Stay away from them! I have a cell phone and will call the cops!" -"Okay lady!" -Jesus wept.

As my kids grow and my mind drifts into the nostalgia of missing them being smaller, I think of their running around the yard naked. They are teenagers now, and I tell them to go play naked in the yard. They roll their eyes. I used to caress them often, but now I more often touch them by pressing their buttons. ;D

I have more to share. Something perhaps a bit more controversial, that which for my own repression I felt like spilling out of the gate in the first paragraph. That can wait until after some lunch...

jrd3820's picture


I love this story, and I can't wait to hear the rest after lunch part of the story.

I found some leftover pizza. Quick.

Good thing it was quick, because this is a part two that if I had taken too long, might not have been returned to. Lo and behold, a prompting from Miss Cudnoski. That is helpful as I need the support and touch from others. Kind and tender touch is preferred [as I find here], but as touch in general is a human requirement, we will ultimately settle for even the nasty.

I was generally well touched as a child and as generally well into adulthood. I've found a bagillion ways to touch others and have recieved in kind. Yes, I caressed my kids, and I also have enjoyed doing such with adults, mostly women for whatever reason. In a post leading up to this one, I read of someone's proclivity toward thoughts of sexual touch toward women. My mind goes there, but it doesn't race there. The bulk of my thought toward touching women is rather vague and quite non-sexual. As such the bilk of my experience of touching women has been non-sexual. As a matter of fact my tendency to caress an arm or a leg while watching a movie has been indiscriminate toward my children and my girlfriends.

I had one girlfriend who for a long time seemed somewhat impatient with that kind of touch. She was quick to become sexual [somewhat disruptive for movie watching :D]. Turned out she was raped when she was nine years old. She spent the bulk of her teens as a runaway, and her stories told of much sexual promiscuity in that period. I spent much time pondering what had been done to her and how that might relate to how she was as I knew her. More stories were revealed of her experience as a minor until one day it hit me. As sad as it was, that which had been done to her, the more direct tragedy for her was that which was not done to her. Nine years old didn't merely mark the event upon which she was raped or touched in a nasty or inappropriate manner [which is certainly true], but it marked the advent of her becoming untouchable and untouched. From then on people including her friends and parents all of a sudden stopped touching her in the good ways she needed to be touched. That period of starvation ran through her teens and into adulthood basically all the way up to meeting me. I was nearly the first peson she knew since she was nine who rubbed her leg for her when she had a cramp without ending in sex.

We are no longer dating, but I did spend much time with her trying to let her know that I was not the only man on the planet who might rub her leg and not have sex with her.

I don't know where to take this comment from here, so I'll stop and catch my breath.

jrd3820's picture

Dear John

Why don't you ever write some originals for us?

I agree though; when it is movie time, it is head on shoulder movie time. There is a time and place for everything, and movie time is movie time.

She was lucky to meet you.

You're the best, right along with has, mountaincat, Johncarter, Michael, Bigmike, Robot Jon, Chris, Ed, Johncarter, Promisekept, Essie, M, and others.

I don't know. I will. Thanks for being you, you. <3


The "3" in this comment's heading might look like the top of my heart, but it is actually my butt waiting for canines. ;)

Oh and by the way, you finally got "Dear John" right [the word order],
but only for FFC THURSDAYS, I hope! :D

Well now

That might be the best thing you've ever written, or even the best thing ever published on the Paul.

"Have you ever seen the rain?" - A poet asks the elephants

Gleeful elephants see the rain as if it falls for the first time. 3 minute film. Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai, Thailand. All elephants featured in this film have lives free of human service work and enjoy just being elephants.

Best regards,

Disclaimer: Mark Twain (1835-1910-To be continued) is unlicensed. His river pilot's license went delinquent in 1862. Caution advised. Daily Paul

ChristianAnarchist's picture

Have you ever been to a

Have you ever been to a nudist beach that includes children? The kids have a blast and interact with adults and it's something special. They don't care about being naked, they just have fun...

Beware the cult of "government"...

Men are suspect in today's

Men are suspect in today's society. We aren't allowed to show any affection or express our natural adoration of children.
We are automatically sex offenders - all of us. I believe this recent development is not by accident. This is more of the same divide and conquer tactic used to enslave people.

"The United States can pay any debt it has because we can always print money to do that." — Alan Greenspan

Thanks for that...it made me cry...

Just curious...Cherokee?

Wha? .....hey....who stole my country?


We don't care about community or health.

We care about "wealth" instead.

"Wealth" comes from being so specialized and detached from place that you have no knowledge of the sources or consequences of your life. Like those coal miners who came in and destroyed your mountain. Corporate itinerate vandals and academic itinerate vandals and political itinerate vandals---we make "wealth" out of your world. That's why it's gone and never coming back. We make community and health impossible. We breed psychosis. So you need to keep your children away from us. Send them to the schools and universities---alas but we are there too.

Bonnie. Absolutely first


Pandas eat bugs.


as kids we got a crap load of hand-me-downs and we got arrayed like little warriors. Sling shots, writs rockets, bows, arrows, traps, rifles, handguns, black powder and then just mountains of camping gear: packs, tents, sleeping bags, it all had that musty scent, crampons, snow shoes, skis both downhill and cross country, i mean we knew orienteering, part of our job was running the trap lines where we hunted and we were mostly goign for mink although we'd sell you just about any animal hide except for a couple prohibited species.

These are animals most of you don't even know exist. For one, the wolverine is revered and nobody I know hunts them but there are also these really rare animals and one is the Marten.

If you saw one you would not know if you are looking at a small dog or a large cat. But they are elusive as heck, they do not like human company. Only one of our family was allowed to hunt them and that was considered a deeply spititual thing. Taking that animal is dark magic to me. But it's a warrior thing. My unlce Bob is a killer. He kills to take power in the old way and he eats the hearts of the animal and the liver while it's still warm. And you pray to the spirit of the tunka and thank the animal for sacrificing itself.

Did you know that?

When we hunt, we view the animal as willingly sacrificing itself to keep The Promise. In our tradition, it is said that man only got the OK to eat animals after the flood. We aren't really supposed to eat our brothers and sisters but now we do.

I can tell you other things i doubt you will believe. Sometimes when we danced the branches of the trees, the trees would literally touch us. Literally reach down and touch us.

The only thing I can tell you about that is it sounds like a Harry Potter movie but the truth is that the movies get this from us, we don't get it from them, they are the copy and we were that reality.

Wake up. You are sleeping. Wake up and remember. Just remember who you are. That's all you have to do.

yeah i know, totally freaky.

There is nothing strange about having a bar of soap in your right pocket, it's just what's happening.