I have made the very rational, not at all hyper spastic, life changing decision to never let my girls leave the house ever again. I don’t have to, really. I can home school them, order all of the things I need for them – from clothes to groceries – online, and they can get plenty of exercise playing on our acre. Under adult supervision. With a shotgun cocked and ready.
Can you tell I just watched the news?
I am really concerned about this world that I am expected to raise these girls in. From bullying to white powder envelopes in 10 schools in my area today, to school shootings. It all scares the living crap out of me, to be honest.
It is bad enough that girls want to date earlier, get bracelets for “what they have done to a boy”, that teenage pregnancies continue to rise. I’ll have to raise girls to be proud of what they have not done instead of competing with what they have done in a world where sex is introduced in elementary schools, condoms are handed out in middle schools, and to be a virgin in high school means to made to feel unpopular and unwanted.
I have to try to teach them to speak like ladies when television shows freely use the words hell, bitch, damned and even G** damned. When every song on the radio is bleeped for it’s bad language. And even G rated movies have adult innuendos that I am not ready to explain.
I have to teach self – confidence, self- reliance, self- esteem, and self – awareness in a world where a stranger in an email can tear them apart and not even know their name. A “friend” on Facebook can post something unflattering, and a Tweet can cause cyber – harassment for months and even years. A world where bullying goes far beyond the school yard and deeper into the soul than a bruise. Where being different in any way allows others to hang a scarlet letter on your chest.
At a time where children are begging for more freedoms, on their phones, their computers, and their outings, I have to block, parental track, and sit outside and watch them constantly while they ride their bikes. I have to make sure a pedophile, a bully, a social deviant is not tracking them, waiting to unteach everything I have worked so hard to drill into them.
If, and this is a big IF, I can get them to think more of themselves then some person on the internet, I still have to worry than another child might walk in and take everyone out in the school library just because they were there. Or set a bomb to make a point. Or mail an envelope with a potentially deadly substance as a hoax, though no one will be laughing.
I can’t be everywhere. I can’t predict everything. I can’t protect all of the them all of the time. And that makes me very, very scared. I mean, who, in their right mind, would be comfortable turning their children loose in this type of world? And how do you deal with the uncertainties out there and still function through your day knowing something could ruin everything in one second?
I know I joke, but I certainly can not hole up my girls and shield them from living. I would not be doing them any favors at all. So, I guess I’ll have to trust that I can teach them enough to keep them safe. That I can stay far enough ahead of technology to keep them protected from all that is out there to hurt them. And that I will be smart enough to know when to let them go and when to hold them tight.
God Bless all of the parents out there. In my shoes, racked with worry, clueless on how to combat the world we have created for our kids. Knowing that they will probably know more than we do, grow up faster than we did, and have a chance at every turn to “ruin it all”.
And God Bless our parents. Who were in our shoes all those years ago, up at night wondering how to get their children from infancy to adulthood without a tragedy.
Who really would have liked to never let us leave the house.