Note added the next morning:
I want to clarify something. I have great respect and love for my late mother. She wasn't perfect...and neither am I...but she lived in the times she was in.
I have learned from talking to people my age, over the years, that my mother leaving me in the car while she shopped was a fairly common practice at the time.
Even as far as my sitting on the porch, she always expected, of course, to be home when I got home from school; it was just that sometimes she was running late. And adults worrying about what the neighbors thought was a way of life that permeated the society I lived in as a child.
Some years later, when my youngest was a baby, my husband and I went to a neighborhood watch (in a different State), where someone asked the speaker something about children alone, and he said they are safer alone outside than alone inside the house. I don't agree, nor am I sure it should be an "or", depending, of course, on age and maturity. But I just wanted to clarify that it wasn't so much about my mother, but about a general way of thinking during, perhaps, a fairly wide span of time...a time period that some people look back on as having been perfect.
For those for whom the "good old days" really were (almost) perfect, I'm really happy for them. Some of us looked back in adolescence and saw some flaws in our childhood, and over the years came to believe that there is no perfect world. But there is much good in the world, and much love and, with our eyes open to all of it, we to try to embrace the good.