It Takes a Village of Idiots to Confine Children
It never occurred to me that my childhood was a Dickensian horror of child labor, neglect, and endangerment, at least not until recently. Growing up in suburban Los Angeles in the 1970s, when crime exploded and societal unrest spread, my parents would often allow me to travel to the park on my own. I rode my bike to school, from at least the age of 10 or so, and probably younger than that. My folks would send me to the grocery store to pick up a few items occasionally, trusting that I would do it without a detour.