"Can we go to the toy store? We don't want to go to Walmart, they don't let us ride their bikes."
A few weeks ago, we were doing a little shopping at Walmart. One of the enticements for the boys to endure the trek was to visit the aisle with the bikes. Numerous occassions we have stopped by to allow them to test drive their birthday wishes. Up and down the aisle, imagining the wind in their hair on the open road, lyrics from "Born to be Wild" spinning through their heads.
This day, the needle scratched across the record, when one of the "associates" informed us that bike riding was not appropriate until after we purchased and left the store. We were "supervised" as we replaced the bike on it's hook, where it hung lonely amongst the crowd of its peers. Look but don't touch, see but don't experience. The whirring of the cameras, hidden in their dark bubbles, followed us out the door, our hands burried in pockets so as not to accidentally graze the wares.
Opinions are formed early in young minds, creating habits in spending and otherwise. Now they do not want to go to Walmart, ever. It makes me wonder about other environments that they find themselves in; school, church, home. When we are defined more by what we will not allow them to do, it's no wonder they don't want to be there.