25th November 2009


There’s this game in the California Academy of Sciences playroom. You dump a bunch of cloth leaves on the ground, and the kids rake them up. We were doing this (over and over) when I realized that Hank had no reference point for the game. My kid, who is almost three, has never seen anyone rake leaves before.

Also, he could get to his favorite toy store on a MUNI bus without supervision.

11 thoughts on “Tradeoffs

  1. Megan

    It took until I was a young adult to really understand what my parents were giving me by sending me to camp, making me join youth groups like Camp Fire and sometimes dragging me to weekend campouts. I loved being a city kid and I’m a city person today, but I’m also terribly proud of the fact that I don’t scream when I see a bear and I can get my hands dirty.

    I never really got the hang of raking leaves though. I saw a cute baby leaf blower at the hardware store the other day…

  2. Toni

    Raking pine needles and leaves in the fall was one of my favorite things growing up, we would make a couple huge piles and then invite our friends over for a big burn pile night. We lived on 320 acres in the woods, but the town where I grew up didn’t have a single elevator. Trade offs indeed.

  3. Renee

    Doesn’t it make you step back when you realize that your child doesn’t have an understanding of something that is so natural to someone else.

  4. Robin

    I grew up in the East Bay, now residing in Western Colorado. I was just explaining to my Thanksgiving companions how I had to learn about seasons, snow and fall at school. Not having them as a kid, has made me appreciate them more now.

    My first fall in Pennsylvania (where I went to grad school) was mind blowing. I couldn’t believe the colors.

    But having said that, I move back to San Francisco and enjoy the cold summers in a heartbeat.

  5. Joey

    Living in Pittsburgh it’s difficult for me to keep in mind that there are people that live without deciduous trees, snow, and mountains. Falling leaves are a big selling point when it’s time for me to convince my daughter to come out and walk the dog!

  6. Sugar Jones

    Love the CA Academy of Science! Took my kids there on opening day… after six hours in line.

    We don’t actually SEE raking, but I know it happens. I live in a Master Planned Community. The leaves, should they fall, are raked or swept or blown faster than the eyeball can track.

    I didn’t see much raking in Central Park last month, and for that I was grateful. It was nice to see what leaves cluttering the paths look like.

    Absolutely beautiful.

  7. Alisa

    my kids were the same about an iron until fairly recently. they are quite taken with it as it only appears around holidays.

  8. Alias Mother

    “They took all the trees and put ’em in a tree museum/
    And then they charged all the people twenty-five bucks just to see ’em”

    I’m just sayin’. Not judgin’.

    We have 3.5 acres covered in oak trees. Yeah. We just rake around the driveway and let the rest of them rot where they fall.

  9. Cosmic Glue

    We have three large maple trees in our yard. Yesterday, our 3.5 year old neighbor started yelling at us from her house across the street — did we see? did we see? She had brought her toy rake over and made the cutest little pile of leaves! (I’d wondered where it came from!)

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