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May 29, 2008


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Noel Maurer

Bike helmets have become almost universal in the U.S., certainly in the northeast and in California. You wouldn't get looks for lacking one, though, not yet.

At the same time, states are repealing their /motorcycle/ helmet laws. This is because Americans are crazy.

I have a question for Doug and Claudia. One of the things that Amma and I really like about France and Spain --- speaking as a couple that doesn't have any kids yet --- is the cheerfully uncaring way French and Spanish parents approach child safety. Go climb the wall/play in the street/take the subway yourself/light things on fire ... okay not that last ... without any of the ever-increasing protectiveness that Americans saddle their children with.


Question: I already know that Germans don't seem to be as welcoming of other people's children as other nations. Are they as protective of their own as Americans, or as nonchalant as Spaniards? Doug's helmet experience has me thinking the former, but I've learned that cultures don't need to be consistent and that kind of stuff does not always follow.


Sounds like you had a great time, as did your boys.

I remember that point with both of my boys. They took to 2 wheels pretty well, too.

I also remember my 7th birthday, when I got my first two-wheeler. My Dad was expecting to spend much of the day teaching me how to ride it. I took it out, and had already figured it out before he was even out with me! I think he was disappointed! :)


I learned to ride a two-wheeler when I was 10. I hadn't really been interested in learning. However, one day my 8 year-old brother taught himself to ride a bike without training wheels. I wasn't about to tolerate that, went outside with the bike, and taught myself to ride on my neighbors driveway (less bumpy than ours) in about 30 minutes. Sibling rivalry -- it can be a good thing, sometimes...

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