Primed to see luck where they can, children turn lucky moments into wishes. In the wishing lists of childhood, you can have a wish when you throw a coin into a well; when you catch a falling leaf or see a falling star; when you find an eyelash fallen onto your cheek; when the words fall out of your mouth at the same time they do from someone else's; when you accidentally put your knickers on inside out (but only if you're a girl); when you blow out all the candles on a birthday cake; when you pick up a fallen penny and give it away. Many of these involve fallen things, as if language recognizes a form of fate: this is how things "fall out." It "fell this way," say stories. Meanwhile a lottery, a lucky dip, a tombola, a lucky number or a lucky day of the week all appeal to a children's sense that life is riddled with luck and that freedom means doing a deal with chance, for you cannot plan luck or control it, you cannot fence it, enclose it, or store it. You can only be open to what falls out and hold on to your hope.
This is why the risk-averse attitude of modernity is not only annoying but conceptually malevolent. It works against the correct instinct children have that they must find a working relationship with chance and risk, otherwise their adventures cannot even begin and they will remain infantilized and enclosed, stuck forever indoors in the house "hard by the great forest" with no chance of setting out on the quest through the forest. Children know life as a huge adventure, this calling dawn, the invitation of all the mornings of the world, asking chance and childhood to play. Adventure demands you accept that the roll of the dice may give you a six or a one, that you take a risk for a venture.
Jay Griffiths, from A Country Called Childhood: Children and the Exuberant World