Going Retro-Progressive

I love this term! I think it really describes the habit so many people are developing to be more like their grandparents and making things like cookies and bread at home, and air drying laundry.

There’s a lot more than homemade cookies, air-dried clothes and free-range children that are making comebacks. Farmers’ markets, car-free days, 100-mile diets and counter-consumer movements have all grown in popularity.

I just love it. My mother tells me I’m too protective of my kids, yet I give them more freedom than a lot of parents I know. I’ll readily admit that it is very, very hard for me to let my son go at times, but that stems more from the rough start he had (near miscarriage, surgery on his skull at 3 months), than anything else.

There are a lot of things I look forward to being able to do when we can afford a place of our own. We are fortunate enough to be able to garden in our yard; never thought I’d be so grateful to the extremely unusual freezes that killed off the landlord’s landscaping, allowing us to garden freely.

But I would love to be able to hang a clothesline. I’ve been trying to figure out a way to hang one, but the fence is cinderblocks with rebar and filled with concrete, then stuccoed. Yes, massively overbuilt, but it also makes it really hard to find something to attach the clothesline to. No trees in the yard either, &$*#. That one frustrates me on so many levels.

There’s more I would like to do on a retro-progressive level, but some things make it tough. Having access to a car only when my husband is home from work means I can rarely get to a farmer’s market.

I don’t know at what age I’ll let my kids do some of the things I used to do. I’ll probably try letting my kids play out front with only minimal supervision within a few years. It should be interesting to see who calls me nuts at that point. I know my sister was chewed out by other neighborhood parents for letting her 8 year old play in the front yard alone a few years ago. Yet I know my sisters and I did so regularly at that age, no problem.

There’s a lot to be said for a lot of the old fashioned ways of doing things. Some really don’t take that much more time, many are great for family bonding and raising children who are competent to take care of themselves for a while, without a television or computer. And of course much of it is better for the environment and healthier.

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4 replies on “Going Retro-Progressive”

  1. Carrie says:

    Retro-progressive. Love that!

    And if there’s something wrong with letting the kids play outside for awhile without your interference, somebody lock me up cause I’m one bad mom. LOL!

    Course, we have no neighbors so I’m not too concerned about icky people.

  2. marye says:

    I *stumbled* into your blog this morning and found a kindred spirit. I let my kids do alot of things that others think is risky..like playing in the creek, riding horses around our area, etc. What is the price we pay to be 100% protected? Frightened, washed out children that sit in front of video games.
    Good job.. I have bookmarked you and will be back,

  3. Stephanie says:

    Glad you enjoyed the article. I really find it sad how overprotective a lot of parents are. I remember all the things I did, and want the same for my kids.

  4. Jennt says:

    I really like that term as it describes this movement so well.

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