I didn’t have much of it as a teenager. I don’t remember it in my twenties, and somewhere towards the end of my thirties it hit.
“What is she talking about,” yes, yes, I hear you muttering to yourself.
It could have been the children that started it all off. Actually, to say that it could have been the children is an understatement. Most of us know it starts with a child, and then never ends.
As a teenager, I never thought about it. I had no problems, and I had nobody trying to persuade me to try drugs, or alcohol, or lead me astray. I rarely felt threatened by anything. The news channels were a blur. Rarely looked at, even more unlikely to be digested. I was a child of the 60’s and 70’s.
The stupidity of my twenties when I used to walk home ALONE from nightclubs, in the early hours of the morning if my friends had pulled, or the taxi queue was so long that I would have been standing there for three or four hours. I felt invincible, and I had to pass the local docks to get home. I just never thought anything was going to happen to me. I had enough to do worrying about the people who I trusted in life. I never worried about strangers.
Fast forward to that lovely day when children come into your life. The paranoia ramps up to such a degree that you begin to doubt your sanity, you no longer feel free to say what you think, and strangers become a potential enemy. In the papers, and on the news, you become more aware of the world around you, and what is happening.
Even letting one of my sons go with a friends parent to their house, I fret that he might not be strapped in the car properly, that I don’t know enough about the parents, or that heaven forbid if there was a fire, they would grab their own and leave mine to fend for themselves.
Ok, that might be taking it too far, but I am struggling with the independence that children want, as I don’t believe mine are ready for it.
Thinking more clearly though, are they ever ready for it, and are the mothers who can easily send their children outside without worrying about them really the sensible ones?
For now, I will chaperone my kids until they are 30, and married with 3 children of their own.