I don’t often pay attention to news items, but this one caught my eye and stirred my passions. A Michigan woman received a notice that if she continued to watch her neighbors children in her home while they waited for the morning school bus, she would be in violation of state law.
Are you kidding me? It seems like everywhere we turn lately the government is trying to get into people’s business. This was a friend doing a favor for other friends. Apparently they often trade off watching each other’s kids. I know what that’s like. I did the same when my kids were small. But Michigan law says some crazy thing like “you cannot have non-family member children in your home more than four weeks in a calendar year unless you are a licensed day-care.” Seems a bit over-the-top, don’t you think? What about an older couple who take the role of “surrogate grandparents” for a younger couple and keep the kids in their home sometimes? Or what if a family takes in a friend of their child’s after school so that child doesn’t have to be home alone? Is Michigan going to threaten those people, too?
I think we’ve lost all perspective in government. In an attempt to ward off any potential abuse in a system, we begin to penalize those who are simply doing the right thing. Being an American and a Texan, I have an independent streak a mile wide, the same independent streak that characterized my forefathers. I know what is right and intend to do it. I expect the government to deal with those who don’t. So it rankles when a government—any government in my United States—makes laws that penalize good citizens in order to possibly deter one or two offenders. (Because of course we know that those who circumvent the law usually find a way to do it, no matter how the law is worded.)
Ok, I’ve vented now. You can return to your regularly scheduled program.