Go mbeannai Dia duit.

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Quaker by conviction, mother by default, Celticst through love, Christ follower because I once was lost but now am found...

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

So Pardon Me if...

The fairies went from the world, dear,Because men's hearts grew cold:And only the eyes of children seeWhat is hidden from the old...~Kathleen Foyle
Have you seen the news today? A 13 year old boy in Britain, who looks about 8, has just become the daddy to an adorable little girl ~ pending DNA testing. His *partner* is just 15. I am neither shocked nor disgusted, certainly not surprised. We have taken our children's innocence & this is the unenviable result.

Certainly healthy children want to grow up. Most eventually want to become mummies & daddies themselves but as I look around I seriously wonder about the world. There seem to be a lot of *Peter Pan* parents around who seriously don't ever want to grow up & take responsibility for anything, certainly not for their children, while their children, in their anxious rush to be thought all grown up, have latched on to the worst aspects of the adult culture they see all around them.

Nothing convicts me more of the idea of original sin than my children. Now my kids are blessings & most of them are grown up now but I remember they couldn't wait to be stained by the world. They didn't want to be fresh & innocent, especially when they were the only ones not allowed to watch particular t.v shows, not allowed to wander willy~nilly around the island & whose parents had a terrible habit of insisting on knowing who they were with, where they were going & what they would be doing. Nothing saddens me more than to watch so many of Liddy's peers succumb to the pressure to be sexually active then pregnant & unmarried. They have no job, no savings, no hope of better things to come to offer a child.

My issue is not really with children having sex. Ethiopia has child brides of just 8 & yes, I believe the fathers know the men concerned will not honour the agreement not to violate the child until she has matured. Many countries practise teen marriages~ India, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia; the list goes on & on. You can make all the rules you like & people will circumvent them because they want to. I don't even get indignant on a moral level because I think the bible is pretty clear about that. Those who belong to the world act as the world dictates. No surprises there.

Nope. What gets me really worried is not all the symptoms ~ & that's all these things are: symptoms ~ but what I believe to be the root problem, a deep disregard for the intrinsic value of another human being. The bible doesn't limit sexual activity to the marriage bed to spoil people's fun but because we shouldn't use each other to pleasure ourselves selfishly. Again & again the bible teaches to consider other peoples needs, other people's feelings, other people, period! It is not all about us!

The teen years are essentially selfish years. Most teens are pretty obsessed with themselves one way or another. Grown ups need to consider each other as well as themselves. They need to be able to put their children's needs before their own. They need to be able to consider what's best for the family as a whole, their church or community as a whole. They need to be able to wait & practise self restraint. And we have societies in the west that are struggling to do any of these things. We have children birthing children because they have not been taught that controlling one's instinctual urges might just be a good thing. We have a culture out of control on alcohol & drugs because people have put personal freedom of choice above duty & responsibility to others.

So pardon me if, much as I adore my kids, I don't tell them they're the centre of the world & do require of them some vestiges of adult behaviour the older they become. This can be a bumpy ride but I am the adult & it's what I signed up for when I had kids.
Come away, O human child!To the waters and the wild With a faery hand in hand,For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand.~William Butler Yeats, "The Stolen Child"


The HoJo's said...

Ah we have had troubles from my refusal to be lax about the influences around the children, big ones, but there you are, we don't get to go back and try again if they get it wrong do we, no we live with the consequences and some I would rather avoid and being a grandparent just yet is definately on my list of things to avoid.

MamaOlive said...

I saw in the paper Monday that two other boys also claim fatherhood of this child. It seems the mother was "active."
Even people who don't like the methods of discipline sure enjoy the results of well-disciplined children when they see it.