Friday, May 04, 2007

Amish parents have balls of steel.

We are watching this jawdropping documentary called Devil's Playground, about the tradition called Rumspringa within the Amish church. Literally translated as "running around", this is one frightening concept.

The Amish let their children go out and do whatever they want at 16 until they either decide to join the church or are found passed out, knocked up under a buggie somewhere with a bag of meth and a can of bud. Yet another reason I could not be Amish; Toby won't get out of our house until he's 28 and a half, and even then the microchip will help us monitor his activity. In case you were wondering what Jack Bauer's got on tap after saving Audrey Raines, he'll be serving at our pleasure keeping Tobias in line.

Frankly I feel bad for these kids, even though I can respect the spirit of the excercise. Committing to such a stringent life would have to be a choice, or most kids would rebel at some point anyway. But it's a little cruel to put all that temptation and opportunity in the hands of the ball of hormones that is a sixteen year-old boy.

One kid they focus on goes through the world's horrible things like the devil himself is holding his hand. Meth, narcing on murderous dealers, rehab, falling back into alcoholism and finally running off to Florida to follow a girl. Every parents' nightmare.

"It's like a vaccination. You get a little taste of the world... and you'll be a happier Amish person if you have a choice."

Except vaccines are safe. Balls of steel.

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