Earlier tonight Dylan casually mentioned that the other night some kid that was hanging out with him Madi, and her friends, told him he was cute. Said that he was gay, and handed Dylan his phone number. I laughed. Then asked if Dylan knew what gay meant. When he innocently said no, I laughed again. Explained it to him, and we went on with our evening.
Then I got to thinking…
This kid raising gig? It really doesn’t get easier as the kids get older. Sure. They can take care of themselves. Get themselves out of bed, stay home for short periods of time alone, make simple meals, and take showers when forced to. But they are still kids – and are still innocent to the world around them. And that sort of scares me.
They are still kids, and still don’t understand everything, and yet they are out there – into things that they don’t even know what they are in.
And I wonder…am I giving them enough? Not enough? Where did I fail? What did I not give them? Somehow I didn’t teach them what these words mean, and somehow I didn’t give them the street smarts, per say, that they need.
Madi thinks the world is her friend. She never grew out of that. Everyone has ALWAYS been her friend. If she knows them or not, they are all friends. She has no enemies, and while that is good, to an extent…she doesn’t fear people. She would accept a ride from anyone – even though she has been told to never accept rides. She will help a stranger out in an instant. Shes one of the girls you see on tv – who have been abducted because they were just so innocent to the world around them. And yes. It scares the living day lights out of me. Its not something I can sit her down and tell her – and she will know. Its something she has to learn, and hopefully live through. And come out the other end, unscarred. And alive.
Dylan follows close behind her – he doesn’t have many friends, but he has just as many enemies. He knows no stranger. Talks freely when talked to. And gives information to anyone who asks. Hes not stupid or ignorant, just unaware that the world can be a bad place too. Thinking hes been through enough in his short life, I guess I figured he was already grown up, and I didn’t have to worry about things. I just don’t know how to tell him that not every guy out there – who tells him he is cute – doesn’t mean it in the best ways. That not every guy says the word “Cute” like his sister means it. And let me tell you, his sister doesn’t call him cute.
Its sort of like when a kid first learns how to talk. I assume that because they can say the word, they know the meaning. And because they know how to talk, (and they know the meaning) that they know everything there is to know about all the words out there, and thus are most likely smarter than anyone out there. When really, they are just parroting what they hear. Trying to learn. Not really sure what they are saying, but figuring it out as they go.
Once again I just feel like I have let them down. Havent given them, havent given HIM the things that he needs. Obviously I thought he knew everything because I let him go and get himself into a situation where he had no idea what happened, and worse, he wasn’t even alarmed by the situation.
I wish I could just pull them out of school – and teach them everything there is to know about the world itself. And not just the stuff in the text books. The things that wont get keep them safe. They sit in school learning about “World peace and acceptance” and think that when they go down the street – the world they learned about in school, is the world they live in today. The streets they walk on are completely safe, just like they are in the books. And people are perfect and innocent, and always there for them.
I don’t want to scare them. Don’t want them hiding in their rooms shaking because there might be danger around the corner, but I don’t want them walking down the street thinking everyone has the best inentions and have their best interest. I want them prepared, and well rounded…but not scared. And not scared. I just don’t know how to give them the best of both worlds. The best of everything. I don’t know what Im missing. I just know that this isn’t getting easier. The kids are getting bigger, and so are their problems. I wish I could just pick them up, dust them off and make it “All better.” I wish I could protect them by holding their hands, and watching for cars and things that they don’t know about yet. But I wont always be able to.
I know they “Know” everything. I just hope that someday…they really understand.