Sunday, July 22, 2012

Week 30 of 2012 - Curfew

Now there's a word that takes me back....way back to my teenage years and beyond.  Curfew...the deadline that rules the end of the fun or the time you need to be "where you're supposed to be!"  Back in the neighborhood on Fritz and Ivy Drive in Romeo, Michigan, curfew was when the porch light went on.  If the light was on, you had better be heading home.  I have heard others say the city street light going on was the signal.  Customers in The Corner Store told me that the big clock in the front window (north of the front door) was where all the neighborhood kids kept track of time.  That's where they checked to see if if was time to head home.  I remember the bells of the Congregational Church in Romeo that played hymns every evening at 5:15 and signaled dinnertime for many kids.  Or if that wasn't enough, my father in law would whistle loud enough for several city blocks to hear.  Supper's on!

In the teen years, Mom and Dad had the curfew call.  Whatever the time was, they meant it.  I remember once when I was 15, I stretched the curfew on a school night ski trip to Mt Grampian in Oxford.  I just didn't respect the time frame I was given.  I walked in, after midnight, and the house was dark.  But Dad was standing in the family room waiting for my explanation.  I think I was more time conscious after that.  He had told me 11pm and definitely meant it. 

Western Michigan University and Smith Burnham Hall was my next curfew experience.  My freshman year, 1969-1970, involved rules for freshman women.  The doors locked and you would have to have the desk clerk let you in.  It was a later time on the weekend, but as a freshman you didn't want to get locked out.  NO, I didn't get locked out.  The following year in Ernest Burnham Hall, sister hall to Smith Burnham, curfews were eliminated...there was plenty of coming and going at all hours.

As parents, our sons were pretty tolerant and respectful of Mom and Dad's rules.  That's not to say there weren't times when it was later than we liked, but the rule was "just let us know what your plans are."  Mom's sleep was not sound until all the boys were in the house.  Dad didn't seem to worry unless I woke him up to lay awake with me and wait.

Curfews...discipline, guidelines, limits of love...provided because someone cares for you.  They are a good thing!

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