Where do the children play?

Fifty years ago, Cat Stevens wrote a song for his seminal Tea for the Tillerman album that asked, “Where do the children play?”

While the lyrics refer specifically to the impact of pollution, they also speak in a prescient way about something we’re all concerned about today.

Will you make us laugh, will you make us cry?
Will you tell us when to live?
Will you tell us when to die?

I know we’ve come a long way,
We’re changin’ day to day,
But tell me,
Where do the children play?

I ask because right now, with COVID-19 infection rates rising at an alarming rate in our area and predators lurking behind the Internet’s thin wall, where do our children play?

We live across the street from a beautiful park with a state-of-the-art swimming pool that remained empty all summer. For a while, wood covers over the hoops silenced the basketball courts and signs near the playground warned families away from the swings and slides.

The park is open now, but not very busy and it’s hard to watch the basketball games being played there and not worry about virus spread. For some of these kids, though, that court is safer than their homes and it seems counterintutive to deny them those hours of friendship, fresh air and exercise.

Where should the children play?

I watched a young person play a video game recently that we both think is pretty cool. Forza simulates car racing and you can earn, modify and drive a wide variety of cars around intriguing courses through every season. He was pretty thrilled when someone else playing that game contacted him and they began to chat. I was sitting right there and I warned my young friend that people you can’t see or hear are often not who they say they are. They raced and appeared to both be having a good time on the track until a word appeared in the chat box that stopped us both in our tracks. Penis. My friend shut the whole game down immediately and we had our 9,000th talk about safety online.

Where do the children play?

Parents and teachers are making difficult decisions every day — every hour, really, in an effort to educate and protect our youth. Many have to weigh physical health versus mental health and who among us can say which is more important? These historic times pose challenges none of us could have anticipated.

I think it would help us all to remember that the virus, and not each other, is the enemy and we’re all doing the best we can to get through this incredibly difficult time. The COVID-19 hospitalization numbers are spiking rate now and most people I know are trying to be as responsible as they can to protect themselves, those around them and our exhausted healthcare workers. But I do worry about the kids.

I know we’ve come a long way and we’re changing day to day but tell me

Where do the children play?

I’m wide open to ideas.

4 thoughts on “Where do the children play?

  1. Laura your neighbors on Morrison St have asked that same question as we have a panoramic view of the entire park! We see “regulars”, the “6am boot camp participants(maybe earlier but I’m not up yet), daily social distancing gatherings, but we agree not many children on the playground.
    But the daily sunrise over Erb is a treat🌞.

  2. It’s hard to watch my grandchildren, watch their neighborhood friends across the street and right next door, wave and say hi as they head to their own back yards. That’s where these children play ☹. It breaks my heart.

    1. It is really hard to see and I hope for all of them that we can dig in and get through this pandemic together.

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