I’m keeping my kids in a bubble.
The simple stating of this makes me chuckle, as my mom did the same. I hated every minute of ‘bubble’ life and now I get it.
Not to be confused, I had a great childhood with amazing memories. It’s the strictness of certain things I find myself turning to now as a mom. Something I’ve just termed the ‘bubble.’
The bubble I’ve decided, is kind of like this space where you can choose to control (or at least try) certain pieces of your child’s growth. Mine (as a child) came in the way of continuing to wear knee socks versus nylon hosiery (yes, it was once a thing) and being able to wear make-up, long after many of my peers.
I still vividly recall showing up to our family Easter dinner in knee socks with my dress. They were Holly Hobby knee socks to be precise and as I stood just shy of 5’ 6” at 13 my aunt was first to speak up. I still recall her chuckle as she pointed out the silliness of it to my mom. “Look how stretched poor Holly is,” she said, as my mom defended her no hosiery until high school rule. I was an only child, preserving her baby was the goal. “They grow too fast” I’d often hear. Now as a mom I see ... She was right. Both literally and physically they grow too fast.
I’m in no hurry to equip either of them with cell phones, social media accounts and the like. Yes, yes, I’m THAT mom.
Both children do have ‘i’ devices. Simply old phones now repurposed with iCloud accounts, music and some simple games. The goal behind the iCloud accounts was to guide them on texting and how words can easily be misconstrued. There is no phone service.
Just as I start to think maybe I’m too old school, along comes Pokemon Go. Now granted, ignorance is bliss and I may be a bit naïve and uninformed, but when it comes to children and the newest ‘it’ thing I’m okay with those labels.
As I read through multiple sites/news articles and reports as a parent and a journalist my head immediately went to ... what happened to common sense? Sadly, as much as I love to live in the world of rainbows and butterflies, I also see opportunity waiting to happen just like the next guy.
Think I’m being extreme? Do yourself and children a favor and simply Google the topic and read through the reports of robbery, stabbing, etc. as a result of a seemingly innocent game.
So now there’s an app/game on thousands of devices encouraging ‘players’ to get out and roam to play and earn stuff (I’m not getting technical, if you play you know the thing/the stuff).
So the pedophile, child abductor, opportunist, you name it does the same and then waits and waits for the kid innocently happening upon a park to get the ‘thing’ and cross paths with a seemingly innocent ‘player.’ Ummm … yeah, no … we have a bubble. That’s not changing.
Now I do get the argument, we do have the ability to police our kids and semi-control how they’re being used. But what about the kid who innocently thinks I’ll just sneak out and run to the park to get the ‘thing’ while mom and dad are asleep. The park after all is just across the street, where’s the harm? The harm is in the unknown. Life brings enough of that without invitation, so I choose to not extend this one at this time into our household.
As the only two kids in town whose mom writes for the local newspaper, yeah ... That’s its own ‘special’ kind of bubble, I must learn to be careful how much I share. As for this, I stand confident in knowing I’m not alone. It’s a big world out there and while I’m anxious for them to journey out and see it with their own eyes, I’m in no hurry for what exactly all that entails. In time ... One carbonated moment at a time.
Teresa Hammond is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 847-3021.