They just didn’t care

I remember two stories in particular that my mom told me about over the years, and they blow my mind. I was reminded of one the other week when I was parenting my kids and wasn’t comfortable with their running the campground on their own at ages 5 and 10, to which my mom replied, “Oh they’re fine. You used to run around by yourself when you were 4.”

Then I remembered and realize how unreliable her “Oh they’re fine”, really was. This coming from the woman who DID let me, a 4 year old, run around in an unfenced campground, consisting of hundreds of people, along a main road, covering acres of land.

Her story: One year when you (me) were little, I was working in the kitchen and you were running around by yourself in camp. Someone came running in telling me that you were up at the street standing by a stopped car full of teenage guys who were talking to you. Someone had noticed it and yelled, and the guys drove off.

WTF. Maybe, um, that’s what happens when you leave a 4 year old running around alone. I mean…right??? WTF mom, did you not care? This leads into story number two. As if I didn’t have enough of this shit in my life, what’s one more asshole.

Her other story: Yea, one time we were at church and I was talking with so-and-so. You were playing with some man and you were climbing on the pews and he was laughing and playing with you. Uncle G came up to me and told me that the man who was playing with you had a history of pedophilia, and so I just kept an eye on you.

Again I say, WTF. I’m very angry, disgusted, and hurt. When I hear people looking out for their kids, or fathers being good fathers, it upsets me. I mean its great, but I wish I had that. Why did no one care about me like that? Why was I not important enough?

Would it have been that much work to come scoop me up and keep me safe? Why let me get that close to fire? God I’m pissed.

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3 thoughts on “They just didn’t care

  1. When I was four (approaching six damned decades ago) there was stuff I would never have been allowed to do. Like wandering around as a four-year-old virtually… no, make that “entirely” un-attended, un-monitored and un-safe. No questions asked, and that was in our own upscale, upper-middle-class neighborhood where everyone knew each other.
    Six, maybe seven years old? Sure thing. Walk four or five blocks to your friend’s house by yourself, even shortly after dark. We were taught what to watch out for and to raise a rip-roaring shit-storm if someone tried anything shady with or even near us.
    Your neighbors were there to protect you.
    These days, kids are not even guaranteed safety in school, in the park across the street from their house or the God-forsaken church rectory.
    Somewhere in between then and now you’ll find my son and daughter when they were four. Almost ten years before you were four, and guess what?
    No way, no how they would leave the house alone, and we were in a closed community. One entrance in and out, and that was it.
    Liz and I were not being paranoid, just being reasonably cautious considering the temper of the times.
    They were markedly different than they had been whey we were their age.
    And things have changed even more between the time we were that age and your kids turned that age.
    “Oh, they’re fine” is no longer a valid presumption under most every day circumstances, and anyone who does not acknowledge that – or chooses to ignore it – has their head so far up their ass that when they sneeze the snot shoots out their ears.
    When you were that age, anyone who bought into the automatic “Oh, they’re fine” mindset was either dangerously naive or just plain stupid.
    And under certain circumstances, keeping some people’s histories in mind…
    “Oh, they’re just fine” doesn’t even fucking apply under their own sick roof.

    I would be pissed, and I would be very, very vocal about it.
    No thoughts, feelings, opinions or verbal smack-downs would be off limits because as a parent I need to be more protective of my children than I was capable of being of myself when I was their age.

  2. Thank you for sharing these posts. These stories are really scary! I hope that you will be able to feel loved in the way you deserve soon: by your boyfriend, and other good friends in your life. I’m so sorry you had to go through these things.

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