Life Parenting

Friday 18 October 2019

What I'm Really Thinking about being babied


I just want to be allowed to cycle down to our village. It is about four miles away from our house and I want the freedom to be able to go down to meet my friends. There's a place on the river, just outside the village, where the weir is, where everyone goes swimming. Coming in to the summer now, all the lads will be there, but I just know I'm going to miss out.

I'm in sixth class, and we've just a month to go before I'm done with primary school. I am so looking forward to that. It is totally lame at the moment. Even our teacher has kind of given up on teaching us. What with the weather being so good over the last few weeks. In fairness to her, she is letting us out to play soccer loads, and she is doing athletics as well. So, it's not as boring as it was just before Easter. I feel like me and the lads have just gotten too big for this school. D'you know what I mean?

But, my mam and dad still treat me like I'm a small child. I'm practically in secondary school but you'd swear I was in Junior Infants the way they go on sometimes. Every time I ask my mam about cycling, she says, "No, that road is too busy and too dangerous. You'd be killed on it. The way those trucks from the quarry go by, they'd have you in the ditch before you knew it."

Maybe they would. The trucks I mean, have me in the ditch. But I don't think so. I know how to ride a bike. I know the road. I'd be careful. But it doesn't matter how I try to reason with her, she always says no. She promises that once I'm in secondary school, she'll think about it again, but that's going to be too late for this summer.

I wouldn't mind, but she moans about me staying in too. If I'm on my Playstation playing Fortnite with my friends, that's not any good either. She'll even tell me to go outside and play. But how stupid is that? Who am I going to play with? My little brother? No way. He's a total pain in the neck. I can't even go down to the hurling field, because it's by the school in the village too. So, I need to get a lift down. There's absolutely nothing for me to do. I'm going to be so bored for the summer and it's all her fault. It makes me mad.

Like the danger thing is not a proper reason. It just isn't. My dad said he used to cycle everywhere when he was my age. And he'd been doing it for years by the time he was 12. His mam used to send him to the shop to get milk even, and he said it used to come in glass bottles so you had a special carrier for them, and he had to balance this carrier on the handle bars, with the milk. How dangerous must that have been? But he's useless now. All he says is "Ask your mam." And we all know what she'll say.

It's just not fair. Even if she let me try it once. Just to see. I'm getting a phone off them for my birthday next week. That's been a long time coming too. More danger apparently! I could text them when I got to the village, to let them know I was safe. I just want to be able to hang out with my friends. At the river. You'd swear she doesn't want me to have friends. Actually, maybe she just doesn't want me hanging around with my friends. I never thought of that till just now. I bet that's really the reason. That'd be mam all over. Saying one thing and meaning something totally different!

As imagined by David Coleman

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