Childhood is a very close subject to my heart. I believe that every child needs and deserves a great childhood, so big and rich that it would take an entire lifetime for you to think them through. Of course, by all means I am not speaking of richness in monetary value but of experience, and adventures. Experts say that growing up years play vital role in a person’s life. Sometimes I think it is one of the reasons why some people never grow up!
Coming back to the subject, it is very rampant nowadays for parents to leave their progenies with certain designated caretakers in pursuit of their own kind of happiness. Some chase after money, some for fame and some for education. Some just dump their own flesh and blood for unknown reasons. I am not a judge for these people, by no means, but what sort of childhood would the child have and experience then?
I know some friends’ children who practically see their grandparents as their own biological parents, and in one case, the boy even took to his grandfather’s name as his own surname!
Then there are some friends who are so passionate about further studies and career move that they don’t mind being absent from the lives of their children for a few years.
While it is important to have one’s own life on track and to chase after your dream as well, is it really fair on the child to grow up in the absence of their parents, and being denied of whatever resources and gains that only a parent can give?
I’m really at crossroads here, because these are people dear to me, really nice and intelligent people, but at the same time I have to sympathize their children for their (lack of) childhood.
Why can’t their children get the same love, attention and fun their parents had years ago? Obviously that made them whoever they are today: great people.
I grew up in a mixed up environment, there were both set of grandparents coming in and going, lots of relatives and extended cousins making appearances every now and then, and some really good neighbors whom over the time have become too close that we are practically family now. Yes, I had full time working parents. Yes, my neighbors watched over me from time to time. I had my fair share of alone time, and over-crowded-home period as well. But at all the times, my parents were there at the top of everything: my first day of kindergarten, first day of school, sports day (not that I took part in sports, anyway. I was a..umm..Brownie. Yes.), prize-giving day, PTA meetings, report card day, you name it, my parents were there all along. Sometimes, I was the envy of some friends whose parents can’t make it to the functions. Oh, it was such a glorious feeling (you have to admit it)!
I see them every single day. Period. And so I was a happy child.
Of course, their attendance didn’t end with the first day only. There were random checks at school, to ensure I’m not missing the classes (I have a tendency to slip into the library all alone, every now and then, J), or just to pass the breakfast box I have missed earlier. In case of a stomach ache, my father would be immediately there to fetch me home, just a phone call right away. You think your pizza boy is fast, check out my dad!!
My school holidays were mostly spent at home, watching holiday movies, cartoons and playing board games. Of course, this is the version my parents know. Other activities include tree climbing, falling down from the tree and climbing them back. Camping and setting campfire, setting the bushes nearby on fire (accidentally, of course) and throwing bottles of water on the fire before the neighbor aunty comes out with a stick to reprimand us. She was fierce, all right.
All these activities happened right in front of my home, you see, so we were safe and having fun at the same time.
I never got to travel much in my childhood, just a few, rare trips to the beaches. But my childhood, as cliché as they may sound, was more colorful than the rainbow and brighter than any sunny day. I can talk of them for hours, and they bring the mischievous smile to my lips even today.
I still don’t understand why some children today are under the curfew of watchful caretakers instead of their parents, and missing out on their childhood so much.