A Mystic River-ish childhood anecdote from Little Children director-writer Todd Field, passed along to Oregonian critic Shawn Levy and posted on his “Mad About Movies” blog:
“I remember coming home one day on my bicycle along this gravel path, and this Ford Falcon pulled up, this white Ford Falcon with two guys in it, and they said ‘Come ‘ere kid, come ‘ere.’ And you know when you’re near trouble, at any age. And I knew they were bad, and I knew they were gonna get me in that car, and I knew that no one was every gonna see me again and they would do bad things to me and I would be dead. And I was screaming and tried to get away, and my bike fell in the gravel and they started chasing me, and lo and behold the next-door neighbor started coming down the street and saw me, and these guys ran and they sped off. And they didn’t catch them.
“And I went home and I told my parents and they didn’t show the fear that they had about the situation, but they didn’t stop letting me have my independence. And that’s what formed me as a human being: being allowed to have that childhood. And I wouldn’t trade that for anything. I’d just as soon have gone off in that car and not exist as not have the childhood that I had, which was tremendous — a great, great childhood. And [yet] as I’ve observed other parents in places I’ve lived — Los Angeles, New York and even London — it was a rare childhood.
“It didn’t have to do with my parents being good consumers and going out and buying everything and making you safe. They let us be as children and let us be feral and let us figure out who we were. They let us fight our own battles and some of them were hard.”