Whilst schools are open again, there one small issue, none of the parents are willing to let their children catch public transport home, well, not for the time being.
The thing is, I usually have the job picking them up on a Friday, but as their parents are both working during the week, it falls to me to go five minutes up the road to the school to get one.
The other goes to secondary school, and, both schools miles apart, I can only be in one place. And, as with the Friday afternoon routine I’m tasked with the job of finding her something to eat. Luckily she is more easily pleased these days as when she was younger, it was almost impossible to find something she liked to eat. Today it will be a meat pie, but not just any pie, it has to come from a particular pie shop..
Fun times indeed, given the finicky likes and dislikes children develop. For the moment they don’t mind but I suspect when they get older, as children’s ideas about post-school activities might eventually not include spending time with grandparents, though I’m guessing the open pantry and being spoilt might sway them for a little bit longer.
The waiting line is longer, and instead of going a quarter of an hour before the pickup time, I now have to go three-quarters of an hour, just if I want a place in the queue, which by my estimation is nearly a mile long.
It gives me time to consider, not for the first time, what makes children tick in this modern world, one which to me seems to be very different from when I was their age.
We did not have television, computers, mobile phones, or social media.
If you wanted to talk to your friends out of school, a parent had to take you, otherwise, it could wait. There was no calling them up on the phone, sending an email or a text. Not like these days where both have mobile phones
And, where we had to do homework, play outside using our imagination, or hanging out with other kids who lived in the street, these days they seem glued either to their computers or phones, playing games on the computer, texting friends, or watching TV.
It’s not the sort of TV I would watch, all screaming and violence, and it’s no wonder a lot of small children are traumatized at such a young age.
Computer games are no better with extreme and very graphic violence. What do we really expect feeding them this sort of material?
Talking them into going outside to play like we did at the same age would be a good idea if it was not for the possibility of them being snatched off the street. It is indicative of the times, and who’s to say it will not happen even if it hasn’t happened before in the neighborhood. Now it seems predators are everywhere.
It was less likely in our time as children. Back then you were more likely to be assaulted by a parent or a relative. It was nothing to walk, as a seven or eight years old, for a mile or two alone on the street, to and from school, and not even think about being whisked away by a predator.
So, this afternoon, it’s not a time to dredge up the past. It’s where it belongs, in the past. What I have to look forward to is another session with my youngest granddaughter playing a game that rewards you with carrots.
Oh, and having to be quite the horsewoman, fending off rivals, dodging bombs and dragons, in order to build up your carrots so that you can breed a better horse, and, of course, win more carrots.
I’m sure there’s a message there somewhere.