In an ideal world, by the time we reach adulthood our job, among other things, is to be responsible, exercise a modicum of common sense, and be good mentors to children.

There must have been a major shift in the universe because we do not live in an ideal world. In fact, our world teems with flawed creatures we often refer to as humans, and they do not have the first clue how to live and let live.

What we now have is a generation or two of spineless powder puffs who are so sensitive and easily offended that they are nothing but inert blobs of carbon matter. These undereducated and easily led sheeple have one goal, to follow the maddening crowd.

Return with us to those thrilling days of yesteryear also known as your childhood, when helicopter parents and protective geezers of every ilk did not exist? Or, if they did, they lurked in the shadows grumbling about “those blasted kids.” They thought of themselves as well-meaning adults, but others knew them by a more accurate and descriptive name, grouchy, meddling busy-bodies.

Growing up, we had one neighbor lady, some referred to as a spinster, but the kids in the neighborhood called her a mean old witch. Why? Well, this woman took clean-freak to a whole new level. She not only swept the sidewalk in front of her house but the street as well.

If any of the kids walked past her house on her sidewalk, she yelled at them to walk in the street. This maiden lady did not care if a car ran over them just as long as her sidewalk remained kid-free. Everyone in the neighborhood ignored her outbursts, including the adults. And, the kids took great pleasure in running up and down her sidewalk.

In today’s protective shield society, the neighbors would call the police and videos of her antics may appear on YouTube and Facebook. Along with posting her name and address, outraged parents and anyone with nothing better to do may protest in front of her house.

During the summer months, children played kick the can on the street until dark. Or, they freely and safely roamed the neighborhood riding their bikes, playing hide and seek, or cowboys and Indians.

If a suburban neighborhood today suddenly experienced an outburst of such youthful exuberance, the consequences are predictable. Neighborhood busy-bodies would call the police and CPS because there was possible endangerment of unsupervised children. Besides, it is unnatural for children to enjoy playing outdoors and disturbing the zombie-fied burbs. As for the game of cowboys and Indians, the population would rise from their recliners and put down their remotes to demand the renaming of the game to something more politically correct and sensitive of Native Americans’ feelings.

When our son was going through a building and launching rockets phase, the entire family joined in the adventure of every launch. We chose a huge paved parking lot on the weekends, and then we had Blast Off! As we gazed skyward following the rocket on its journey, a police car pulled up.

He started to ask what we were up to, but then noticed the majestic rocket’s flight. His stern expressed turned wistful. “I used to build rockets when I was a kid,” he said with a smile. After watching the rocket for a few minutes, he told us to be careful and enjoy our family fun.

It seems some old biddy called the police. She was a precursor of today’s vigilante biddies who just cannot stand to see anyone enjoy some harmless fun.

Children who had problems with school bullies were taught to stand up for themselves and fight back. Anyone knows, if you stand up to a bully, he backs down.

Now our over-protected youth are spineless and unable to stand up to or for anything. It is too scary and difficult. Today’s youth demand safe zones where they can go to cut class and protest the furor du jour.

The simple pleasures of childhood are smothered in the protective cellophane of meddlesome folks.