Here’s why you can’t take a walk to the park my child……
May 23, 2019
A few weeks back, my daughter came to me and asked me what she thought was perhaps a simple request: Mom, can I go to the park with Jazmine? Kids say the darndest things right? I almost broke out into hives. My husband answered immediately with ‘NO WAYS!‘. Thank goodness….I then pretended he was the asshole parent and I totally would have said yes. Addison totally knew I was lying though. She spent the rest of the afternoon sulking and crying. Probably wondering what she did in life to deserve such asshole-type parents! It got me thinking to when I was her age:
I knew all the neighbourhood kids and visited their homes anytime I wanted to.
Half the time my parents has NO idea where I was.
I went to parks that were kilometers away from my home.
My curfew was determined by the time the street lights came on for the evening. That’s when all the kids would break up and head home. My brother was about 6 and I think he had pretty much the same privileges as my 10yr old self.
Thinking about this gives me shivers! a 6yr old and a 10yr old….walking around as if they didn’t have a care in the world. Like the world wasn’t the evil prison that it is now. I wonder WTF my parents were thinking….didn’t they love us???? lol. Then a part of me is really really sad. That my kids will NEVER know this kind of freedom…those kinds of friendships….. They will never have these life experiences. Part of me thought, well…just offer to walk with them to the park Simone. The other part of me was busy putting on the next episode of Married at First Sight. Guess which one won?
A whole new world
Addison was born over a year after Madeleine Mccann went missing. I was not a mother when Maddy went missing, but I was a human being…. My soul ached, wondering what happened to her, hoping that she would be found. It is now 12yrs later, and we all still wonder: What happened to Madeleine Mccann?
Welcome to the party
There are many many horrific stories of kids going missing….in the days of my youth, it was Gert and Joey….. but ‘luckily’, they only took white children. So us kids of colour were safe.
Well safe, with the exception of the ‘Welcome to the party‘ van that was apparently driving around in the coloured areas…trying to tempt kids to climb into their van. This van was apparently packed with balloons and cake…and their ‘tagline’ was ‘Welcome to the party’. Me thinks this was an elaborate ploy by coloured parents to get us to eat our vegetables….. but nonetheless, I promised I’d never get into a van promising me there was a party happening inside…..
Back to the topic at hand
I went into my daughter’s room (where I was very unwelcome) and I said to her:
Addison, google Madeleine Mccann. See how a little girl was ‘taken’ from the bedroom window, from a bedroom where her siblings were also sleeping. That was 12yrs ago and Maddy’s brother and sister have NO idea what happened to their sister…..they never knew her and never will. My child….12yrs later I am asking: What happened to Madeleine Mccann??? I NEVER want the world to be asking: What happened to Addison Macintosh (not really her surname, but let me pretend I keep some things secret)?
That question….. that question makes me teary….and my child, I would die if I ever had to not know where you are. In this house, you are safe. Under my watchful eyes, you are safe. My life’s mission is to keep you safe….and I don’t care how angry you get with me for just doing my job. *Mic drop*
Will our kids ever know freedom?
That was good right??? Just kidding…. it sucks….it sucks so badly that my kids have to live such a sheltered existence.
We went to Spar over the weekend. I was standing by the frozen veggies and Addison asked if she could go to the next aisle to grab a different packet of chips. I very boldly said yes….and I told myself…Don’t follow her Simone…don’t follow her. I stood in my aisle…well at the entrance…waiting for her to reappear. A gentlemen kind of nodded at me: like….here she comes. He obviously spotted my turmoil. Addison looked panicked herself…like…HOW COME YOU DIDN’T FOLLOW ME?? Then she asked me if I knew the man that nodded. I said no…. She asked: So why did he smile at you. I said: He smiled at me, to let me know that you were on your way.
This panic and fear is not good for the soul….. I don’t know how to let go and let my kids be more independent. I worry I’m going to raise kids riddled with anxiety and who can’t think or do anything for themselves. How do we strike a balance? If you’re in Spar….do you let your kids walk to the next aisle? Or *gasp* maybe even 2 aisles away? If I’m in the queue and I forgot cereal…. I leave with my kid….and go get the cereal and stand in the long ass queue all over again.
I know I spoke a bit about these limitations in the post I did about speaking to our kids about rape over HERE, but I guess it’s an ongoing issue we are faced with, and I could probably dwell on it every single day.
Do you let your kids walk to the park or the corner shop?