I met my mother at a local restaurant a few days ago and somehow the discussion evolved into car seats, and how my 1.5 year old daughter is still in a rear facing seat, and my 7 year old uses a booster seat.
Yet then we traveled down memory lane back to 1977 when I was the 7-year old, and my older brother was 8 and my younger brother 6. Not only did we not have car seats and booster seats, we didn't even wear our seat belts. In fact, we didn't even sit.
Mom said, "I remember you guys all standing. In fact, I remember you falling asleep in the front seat, and when I had to stand on the breaks I instinctively put my arm out to prevent you from falling forward. It's funny how you never even though about this back then as being dangerous.
"In fact," she continued, "I think you are the one who always had to be in the front seat because your brothers couldn't stand the way you breathed. They were picky that way, and very irritable. They'd tease you and start fights. So I had to put you in the front seat."
"You were sneezing and sniffling and your mouth breathing was loud, and you were always wheezing. You were always sick like that. So that's why we had you in the front seat."
I think it's neat how we have progresses as a community. My mom actually let me wheeze and sniff and sneeze because there wasn't really anything she could do. And, to prevent me from fighting from my brothers, she made me stand in the front seat, where I was even at greater risk from dying of a head contusion than of asthma.
I was thinking this, although I didn't say it to her. I guess this is all proof that we do the best we can with the wisdom before us, yet as we know better we do better. Now, if our kids are wheezing and sniffling, we treat it and hopefully prevent it. And we definitely secure our kids in their car seats. Well, at least my wife and I do.