I have a very bad memory. Very bad. Very bad indeed…because it is sharp.
I can remember things in vivid detail from 60 years ago, and this is awkward for modern people who try to misrepresent the past to me. I do not mind them lying about the present or about the future, but I refuse to have them fiddle with that portion of the cosmos that I already possess.
I mention this because we are just starting on school holidays this week. A fortnight of children either wandering the streets looking for trouble, or being chauffeured to it by their doting parents. It is not a complete hell, but they are filling in the missing bits pretty damn fast.
Here is where that inconvenient memory comes in. I, too, had school holidays. Being in North America, they may have come at different periods in the year, and for different lengths of time, but they were holidays…or vacations…nevertheless. But they had one difference from the local events; my parents did not participate. I was a kid and I knew how to operate my own holidays.
A school holiday was celebrated in those days by getting out of the house and not going to school. It also included not going to every movie in town, every shop with a new computer game, and every holiday resort down south. It was, surprisingly, celebrated by not stealing mail from people’s post boxes or breaking into their cars. We did not haunt malls.
There may have been a certain degree of baseball, football, ice hockey, and model airplanes involved. The occasional visit to the swimming pool in summer. The public library all year round. The zoo. Hunting trips. And all of these were accessible to us without involving our parents or their cars.
Were we neglected? Not that I remember. And remember that I remember.
Moral of this post: Push them out the door at 8:30 and let them back in at 5:30. They will manage.