Free range kids, Bahamian style

They’re impish, full of energy and curious. In short, they’re children.

They roam the streets in gaggles like kindy bike gangs after school and on weekends.

No one is watching them. Except that everyone is.

They have a very loose understanding of property. (“Give me your helmet,” a girl said to V.)

They aren’t bashful about recruiting any nearby adult for help. (“Give me a push,” a girl instructed Serena while getting herself comfortable on V’s bike. “I like it fast.”)

The boys pop wheelies like second nature.

Those who don’t go to school yet hang out during the day. They don’t mind teaching V their nursery rhymes, including “Cry baby wash your face” (which leads to “teacher calls you dummy fool”) and “Boys go to boys’ school. Girls go to girls’ school. Boys’ school is ugly. Girls’ school is pretty.”

No one can tell me for sure if they can swim, as they teeter by the water’s edge.

Ah, childhood.


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