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Friday, 16 March 2012

Kids and when's the right time to loosen the reins?

At what point do parents take a back seat and allow their children more freedom?  I ask this as my father in law has paid, generously I think, for my daughter to go on a school trip to Disneyland Paris next January.

She’s gone on school trips before, one even lasting a week, but that was in this country and only an hour’s car journey away.  In fact the furthest she’s been is to Liverpool; but my point is she’s been away from home before – sleepovers at friends, etc too.

So, if that’s the case, why am I asking the question about freedom at all?  It’s obvious I’m giving her more as she’s getting older, I’m sure I’ve said she’s fourteen going on forty, and so where’s the problem?

The problem is the recent coach crashes – the first one was bad enough when that poor teacher died; but the most recent one has had me in tears.  I know it’s ridiculous, but I always think that adults have at least had some life – kids haven’t really had any.

No worrying about first crushes, first dates, first jobs; driving lessons, driving tests, exams, any of that.  It’s all gone now for them – twenty-two young lives snuffed out.

The whys and wherefores don’t bother me; the fact those poor children are dead is what haunts me.  I cry for the children who have no future now, but I cry for the parents the most.  I cannot, will not, imagine what it’d be like without my daughter; she’s the best thing me and my husband have ever done......ever.  Life without her would be........I actually don’t think there’s a word to explain the horror of that.  The very thought makes me feel sick; so my heart, my thoughts and my prayers constantly go out to those parents who lost children in that awful event.

But my daughter’s really looking forward to her own trip and, as someone who’s never been abroad and is unlikely to ever do so now, I won’t say no because I’m just a worrier who fears for her like the ridiculous wet blanket of doom I obviously am. 

Of course I won't get much sleep the four days she's away; the hug she gets when she returns, completely unscathed naturally, will probably cut off her oxygen for a few seconds - but I will say goodbye and hello again with a smile on my face to make sure she knows it's fine to leave us; because kids need to know you're going to be alright too whilst they're away.

However, there is a postscript to this - the school notified all parents of children interested in going on this particular trip on Thursday that, whilst there were nearly sixty students from her year who wished to go, only ten have so far actually signed up with the required deposit.  This is probably due to cash strapped families exclaiming “how much?!” and then swiftly following it up with “no!” – I know that’s what we did initially, until my FIL kindly said he’d pay for her to go as it was the trip of a lifetime for her.
Which, of course, it is; so I will say absolutely nothing and let her go; I will gag my inner 'Mamma Bear' (my daughter's name for my overprotective side) and keep quiet – but does it make me mean to secretly hope that the school says it’s cancelled due to lack of numbers?  I think that’s what my real question is – and I already know that it probably does; if so, I’m sorry – but I can’t help it; honest and truly I can’t.

This is Simi, thanks for reading.......

1 comment:

  1. It's okay...But, actually, you never have that moment. Cause they will always need you.