Monday, August 23, 2010

When does innocence end?

I mentioned during a couple of posts yesterday that my son's Boy Scout troop enjoyed a weekend at Shallow Falls in Oakland, MD. During our time there, we saw countless number of people dive perhaps 16 feet from a rock and into the water below.

As one father (not from our troop, but instead there taking pictures of his kids as they jumped from the rock) and I watched person after person climb up and then jump down, we wondered when innocence ended.

We agreed that if we were teenagers (as at least one of his children was), we would have thought nothing of getting on that rock and diving. We would have done back flips, front flips and all sorts of jumps. But when would we have no longer done it? Or at least when would we at minimum have had second thoughts about what we were doing?

The father noted that he was perhaps 17 when a group of his friends one day began jumping from large limb to large limb and from tree to tree. And that's when one of his friends took a nasty tumble and was rather seriously hurt.

"I reminded myself that could have been me," the father relayed to me on Saturday afternoon. And that's when he knew he was no longer invincible.

I couldn't remember my "oh, I need to think about what I do" moment. But I do know that by time I was in college, I made a decision to avoid circumstances that could lead to unfortunate consequences.

So, when does innocence end?

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