I celebrated my birthday this week. For some reason it seemed more special now that I am a mom. I told my husband, Tshaw, I wanted a nice cake and I wanted it to be special. I got a pink cake with a barbie and a crown on it. It had a big candle in the shape of a number one since this is my first birthday as a mother. I loved it.
I am starting to forget what it is like to be young and dumb. I guess everyone eventually forgets what it is like to think you know everything and not be afraid of the future. Soon I will be saying, “If your friends all jumped off the building, would you?”
One of the dumbest things I can remember includes swimming in pool that was closed. Me and two neighborhood boys decided we would go for a dip. I remember it being a little cool for swimming but I went along. We climbed the barbed wire fence somehow avoided injury. The pool had a big slide and they dared me to slide down. I took the challenge.
Since the pool was closed the water pump was off and as I slid down, I got friction burns. So dumb of me. Back then, I thought I was so cool for taking the challenge. Now, when I think back to that day, I can’t believe I took part of something so dumb.
Children for whatever reason are drawn to pools. I recently had a cousin that drowned in a pool. It was very sad. He was only eight years old. I could have easily drowned that day or injured myself. I was around 10 at the time when I jumped the fence to go swimming. I often find myself scolding the younger dumber version of me for putting my life at risk.
I tell myself, I will never allow my baby to swim unattended. I will never allow my son to walk through the woods to get to the store. I will never allow him to catch a taxi to the mall by himself. Also, I will never allow him to play blackout hide and seek. In case you do not remember blackout hide and seek, we would go in the closed-in garage that had no windows and leave all the lights off. We would hide anywhere - dryer, washer, old luggage, on top of rickety shelves.
As I compile the long list of things I will never allow him to do, I realize that half of the list are some of my best childhood memories. Then I thought about all the dumb things I did as a teenager and figured out the best thing to was just to lock up my son and never let him see daylight again. I realize this is absurd.
However, I think that is why I am forgetting what it is like to be young. I am forgetting because I want to protect my son. As we get older and smarter we know there are some things that we just can’t allow our children to do. I remember my dad would allow me to ride in the backseat unbuckled and sometimes even allowed me to lay down in the window in the backseat. I was discussing it with some friends, and seems like everyone in the early 1980s used to ride in the window, and never buckled up.
Remember when Britney Spears was caught driving with her baby behind the steering wheel and the public was outraged? I remember her saying something like, I am from the country and that is what we do. So true. I have pictures of me behind the wheel in my dad’s lap driving our old ford pickup.
Just because we did something in our youth does not mean we should let our children repeat our dumb mistakes. No matter how fun they seemed at the time.
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