I know I'm probably a bit repetitive, on the parenting issue, I mean, but, after all, this blog is for my child to read in the future mostly. And I have to confess, I was a bit scared yesterday.
Sarita's birthday is tomorow, she ll be 11,
With money being so tight, our recent travel et all (not forgetting about my current state of health) a aprty was out of question. Then she asked if she could have a sleep over (I blame this to the Aussie tele program). I agreed to bring 4 kids, one of them couldnt make it (this girl used to be Sarita's best friend, spent entire weekends and holidays here, but after the third operation I once bursted into a crazy shouting moment with the mother, about commitment, long story, and the girl took distance from Sarita after we came back from Brazil in 2005, when all the kids in the class decided that Sarita, being the most popular girl in school until we left, was worth bullying…)
We hand made the invitations (full of glitter and collage of fabric flowers, soooo cute!!!) to the other 3. One from an Irish family, one of Portuguese parents, the other of Portuguese grandparents. They were all very exited. So was I, in a way, not knowing what lay ahead, of course.
I fear for my child's future, honestly. I saw what fun means for these kids. The pranks on the phone, fair enough, I remember doing that myself at that age, but I m quiet sure the cost of it wasnt the present one (there were no mobile phones 40 years ago).
The play in doors was very agresive. They played summo wrestling, jumped on each other bodies, the shouting was screechy to the point I feared for Sarita's singing voice, but that wouldnt be what made me shiver. Nope. What made me shiver and fear was something that cannot be put down into words (well, at least I cant do it), a general feeling , a vibe coming from this kids, not only towards me, but to the world….
Two of them stayed up 'till 6 o clock in the morning, and then when we had to go out , they all started shouting stuff to people from the car windows…. which would be fun if what they were shouting wasn't of an insulting nature, and if we weren't living in such a crazy violent world, I had boys in Camden Lock smashing my car's roof with their fists once, just because….)
The worse was seing Sarita changing into one of them.
This vulgar, challenging, cockney spoken, non loving child wasn't my daughter, and I know she isn't like that when she plays with the kids here, at the Estate, I had them many, many times for days, as a matter of fact I am the only mother who brings kids to sleepover, have them for entire days, and actually play with them….. I make huge efforts to take them away from the computer and tele, I organise singing and dancing contests, make them do theatre plays or film scripts, sit to do painting and crafts in general, involve them in the cooking….they all love to come to ours, so it wasnt like I didnt know my child's behaviour interacting with other kids before, nope. But it was not a very nice surprise.
The point is…..nowadays, when a kid 15 y old gets killed in his own home ,just coz a text message issue, when most of values are lost, when being rude to your parents is a trend…. how do you fight the outside world? How can one stop one's child becoming one of *them*?
I know I have been giving as much as I can, I know Sarita does lots of art classes after school, speaks, reads and writes 3 languages, loves the music and drama and dancing and playing the instruments, loves travelling, learns fast…I know she knows how much I love her, I know she loves me, I know she thinks of me as a cool mum and, above all, enjoys spending time together…..
But I saw her friday night and yesterday. It frightened me. A lot.
She also desobeyed the one very strict rule we have. If they go play outside (the gardens are comunal) they have to be within visual range, and by no means leave the estate. When I went to call them as it was getting dark, they've vanished. In the middle of it , the mother of one of them called to let me know she was coming to pick her up….can you imagine my anxiety? Not forgetting that I cannot be very fast with the crutch or the stick, I had to go look for them, then (arrrgggghhhgggg!!!! stupid!!!) upstairs neighbor who is very, very moody, tells me she had to tell them off, have a go at them coz they were ringing the buzzers, and that they went to the other building in the estate, to and with our Spanish neighbor, Vanessa, whom I knew wasn spending the day and night at some other kid's house…. Regardless, I start my way to the other side (where the buzzers are) and (luckily, as she is almost a friend) Vanessa's mum helps me by going to Sayn's house (across the raod from our estate) whilst I waited at the Estate entrance to see if they showed up, constantly shouting their names…..
Then I see them coming up the stairs from the other side of, not the other building, but our very own. (That's why I blame (stupid) upstairs neighbor, I could ve avoid a near heart attack if I didnt have the wrong information)
I give a bit of a lecture, call respective mums to come pick them up, and let Sarita know we will have a chat about all these. I did not help that I had Pedro & Rita (the boy one of a family who was regular guest at Sarita's god parents hotel in Trancoso, who have just arrived in LOndon).
So…when you are bringing up your kid without the father's help , when society doesnt help either….I wonder…can one protect them still?
I keep trying…..