Richard Louv Asks Whether We’re Raising Our Children Under House Arrest
So though our fears and restrictions arise from the best intentions, we have to ask what effect they are having on the health of children, and on the earth itself. Environmentalists and conservationists, almost to a person, had some transcendent experience in nature when they were kids. If we take that opportunity away from today’s kids, who will be the future stewards of the earth?
I first knew Marcus by his constant muttering. In my tracked eighth-grade classes, he was in the lowest track. He had failed every class in every quarter the previous year, for the simple reason that he had not completed a single assignment. Not one. He never did the in-class work I gave him.
For years now my brother has gone by the name Captain Smoke, or Smoke for short. I’ve always figured it’s a reference to his chain-smoking cheap cigarettes, but it could be about marijuana. I’ve never asked. I do know that living with our father off and on for more than three decades, as Smoke did, would drive anyone crazy enough to come up with an alter ego.
My attraction to thick girls began when I was eleven and growing up in the South Bronx. For the most part I hung out with my Uncle Kove, who was ten years older than me and a master of kung fu, gymnastics, and graffiti art. He had the initial attraction to larger girls.
Like most older neighborhoods, ours had a haunted house. Mrs. Licht and her grown daughter lived in it. (Mr. Licht had died many years earlier.) The lawn was unkempt and overgrown with weeds, the windows had wrought-iron grillwork over them, and the green paint on the clapboards had cracked into a scaly pattern like the skin of a lizard.