Mom life,  New Post,  Parenting

Here’s why you can’t take a walk to the park my child……

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*Ā 

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?

kids safety

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Iā€™m Simone, a mom of 3, a wife, chocoholic and makeup lover! This is my little spot to talk about anything and everything Iā€™m obsessed with.

12 Comments

  • Kerry

    Such a great post Simone.
    That question of “will our kids ever know freedom” hit me hard because they will never know it like we did and that makes me sad.
    I think you did a great job with your explanation to her.

  • Yolanda Jeftha

    Loved this post and I’m not a parent but can relate on so many levels.
    Having responsibility over other peoples children gives me anxiety, especially when we’re in public spaces. I recall giving them a whole speech on our way to the mall and till this day always have them walk in front of me. I stress when I dont see someone in sight. The older girls now wants to jog in the area and all I’m thinking is “are you nuts”? I’m probably gonna be exactly like you when I become a parent. But rather that than dealing with heartache if ever something were to happen because you were lenient about these things.

    • Lisha

      A post that really depicts the sad, scary world in which we have to raise our kids Simone.

      Kids reactions pass quickly and one day they will realize that all these rules were meant to protect them.

      The sad reality is that they will never know the freedom we had …. a pessimistic view but there is very little innocence left.

      • Donna Moodley

        Such a good post but one many of us read with shivers recalling all the stories we’ve read about kids who have gone missing. Sadly it’s a harsh reality and one we can talk about every day. Gone are the days when we could play as you say til the street lights came on and playing down the road then walking home was still so safe. I mean my hubby has asked me ages ago to stop running alone in my area caus it’s not even safe for an adult these days.
        I wouldn’t say we’re paranoid. It’s juts how things are that we have to be extra vigilant and aware of the realness of the situation.

    • Simone

      Exactly….rather them pissed off for 10 minutes than me heartbroken until the day I die. I’m reading a book about a kid that goes missing at a fete…it’s doing nothing for my anxiety!!

  • Nooreen

    I have this turmoil all the time. It’s so unfair and sometimes I think I’m just ridiculous. Kids in the neighbourhood still ride around on bikes and visit each other. Would never let my son do that. During the fast they do however take cake away in the street, by themselves and I don’t seem to have panic attacks as I did when they were younger. Lol.

    Something I however did in Saudi(Makkah) was leave my son unattended during an entire prayer on a completely different floor of a mosque (which is situtaed in a huge hotel/shopping mall) Because he was older than 5, they wouldn’t let him in with myself,mom and aunts. All the men had already left for the main mosque. The at the lady’s entrance told me I had to send him downstairs. We walked down and the guard at the men’s entrance saw him and said,go with Mom. A second guard politely said he won’t be able to. The first guard then looked at me and said, don’t worry, I’ll watch him. You go. I asked my son if he was fine with this and by that time he was already enjoying being in Saudi, so he had no issues. The first guard again said, it’s fine, I can go. So I went …… And left my son in the hands of a complete stranger. CRAZY RIGHT. Well, also my faith that Allah will protect him. When the prayer was done. I rushed to get out and down escalators, because the lifts take way too long. This is not a small building and not easy to get around. When I got there, the guard was waiting for me and had told my son to wait at the door where he could see him. When the guard saw me he smiled and called my son and said, come, your Mom’s here. All this in broken English as I cannot understand a stitch of Arabic. I’ll never forget that. I was eternally grateful. It’s not something I’ll ever do here. But it really gives a different perspective on how life can be.

  • Carly Clarke

    My kids will never experience the freedom I had and they are ok with it but also we grew up in different communities where everyone knew you and looked after each others kids and i was lucky i grew up in circle so the park was right there šŸ™‚ .I dont know who my neighbours are šŸ™ because everyone hides behind high walls .

    My kids don’t ever walk away from me even in the supermarkets . My husband’s nephew once went out with us and dissapeared I was so freaked out but because his parents allowed them that freedom to do whatever they want he felt it was ok to do it with us luckily we found him and the parents didn’t seem worried when we relayed the incident to them . So since then I wont take anybody else’s child with me either if I go shopping because I feel constant panic .

    • Simone

      I have no idea who my neighbours are either šŸ™ It’s so sad!

      I’m reading a book (fiction) at the moment about a woman who ‘loses’ her best friend’s kid at a fete, and I thought about your comment! This book is doing nothing for my anxiety!!

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