Being a parent causes you all sorts of angst. From the minute your new little baby is born the worrying begins. Are they too hot, too cold, still hungry, got wind, crying just because they can? The list goes on, and only grows and changes as they grow and change.
Sometimes I think about the society we live in and what the future will be like for our daughter. I listen to hubby’s stories of the days gone by when he and his 3 brother’s would meet up with other local kids, make go carts and spend hours terrorising the back streets of Wahroonga, racing each other down the hills. All good old fashioned innocent fun. And I wonder what happened to those days.
A few nights ago as we sat on the lounge watching tele as we do every night, the local news headlines came on. A service station not 5 minutes from our house was held up. It made my heart beat just a bit faster. Then tonight once again the local news headlines came on. I wasn’t really listening, playing on the iPad instead when I heard hubby say, ‘What? That was in Newcastle’. ‘What was in Newcastle’ I enquired. He started relaying the news headline that a young girl had been assualted in a local takeaway shop only a few minutes from our house. A place we have frequented many times, in a street full of restaurants, always buzzing with people eating out.
I felt sick. I never wanted to be one of those overly cautious parents, hoping I’d be the aware, but laid back Mum who took safety seriously but didn’t go into a panic the minute we left the house.
Turns out deep in my gut the older Sophie gets the more scared shitless I become. While these types of disgusting human beings are thankfully a minority in our society they are still out there. It is these assholes that pray on innocent children that I fear will turn me into a paranoid wreck.
Not long after Sophie was born there was a report of a man who followed a young girl into the toilets at the local shopping centre where I do our groceries and assaulted her. The girl was I think from memory about 7 years of age. I looked down at my new baby and thought to myself, I’m never letting you go ANYWHERE by yourself.
A few weeks ago I was doing some shopping in the Newcastle Mall. I quickly ducked into a clothes shop as I had spotted a dress I wanted to try on, and Sophie was happy enough chilling out in her pram for the time being. I walked to the change rooms and her pram wouldn’t fit in there with me. Fat chance I was leaving her outside the change rooms on her own, even though she was parked right outside the one I was in. Instead I just tried on the dress over my jeans and quickly whipped my top off with the door still open. No way was I taking my eyes off her for one single minute.
Maybe I was being paranoid? Or maybe my behaviour was completely understandable and realistic in this day and age?