But Mummy….Safe is so boooring!

My daughter has always been …challenging is maybe the word I am looking for. She is her mother’s daughter; she has opinions and thoughts about what is right and what is wrong. She makes me proud when she speaks and her thoughts and feelings towards the world leave me speechless often.

She turned thirteen recently. Now…she was already playing the role of stroppy teen well before this, but I kid you not…she went to bed on the night of her 13th birthday quite stroppy and woke up on the morning of her 13th in full  Kevin and Perry mode. It made me smile to hear her stropping about because I had asked her to pick up a crisp packet or whatever evil task I had bestowed on her afternoon.

Anyway, yesterday we had to have  “a talk”…

Not me to her….she needed to talk to me…So we went for a drive, and this is what she had to tell me…

I am boring

Her life is boring

Our street is boring

She is bored

But let me  explain in more detail.

“Mummy” she says in her tone that lets me know she is serious…. I stare  ahead, holding my steering wheel for dear life as I have no idea what she is going to say

“Your too safe…the house is too safe….everything is too nice”

I consider this for a moment. Listen to what was being said.

She sighed…a heavy sigh and spoke

“Nothing interesting happens…. I always have nice stuff; you pick me up and drop me off everywhere… I’m not allowed out on my own…not allowed out at night”

“But”…I try to interject

But she is in full force

“ Like…I look out of my window, and everything Is so…Nice…We have the cats running around and the kitten acting like a baby half the time,

“I know but”…I try once again

“No Mummy…you do not understand… Nothing can happen when your around”

We sat in silence for a few moments. I could hear her breathing was fast and she was upset. So, I let it settle.

Then I responded…

I hear you but …with me…that’s how it is

She breathed deep and hung her head….turned to look out the window and said

“I know…I hate it”

We sat in silence for a long time.

I hear her. She has friends who are out and about in the evening. They are most likely doing things that she would never get away with. She has friends who want to be out of the house as much as they can because home is bad…friends who are out experiencing things that many teens do…

Whilst she is at home laying in her bed…stroking kittens and playing Sims.

I get it, she is now a teenager and wants to do teenage stuff….

As we pull into the house, she shakes her head.

“what’s wrong?” I ask…. “You don’t” understand she replies and walks into the house.

Now do not get me wrong. I fully understand all the elements of the conversation we just had, including the element that if I suppress her too much, she will do what most teenagers do….and rebel.

I come in and speak to her closed door “I will try…try to let you do more things”

No reply….but I know she gets it, she just does not like it

I went downstairs…out to the garage…and I cried. Big old crying baby….proper sobbed for a good five minutes. It was one of the strangest cries I have experienced and I am still not sure who I was crying…. for

You see…I have never in my life, ever…felt as safe as my daughter does right now. I am 42 years of age and I have never experienced what she is…where everything is just …OK. Home is a safe place with no violence and no rows that last for days at a time. She goes to the cupboard…there is plenty of food. Clean bedding always….house clean…pets running about….never searching for a shirt that does not make you smell too bad. Not having to make sure you have soap…not thinking about if you will have dinner…not trying to hide secrets…no one kissing you goodnight.

I have never felt “too safe” in my life. In fact, …right now Is the safest I have ever felt, and I am petrified still. Just waiting for someone to come and take it away.

So, I sat in my garage, on the floor and I cried. For me. For the child that never knew that feeling. And I cried for me…the adult who has to carry that.

And then I  cried because I am actually so proud of myself that I have created this environment for my child, despite all the baggage I have to carry, I cried for my daughter. Who can not explore the world freely because of the life I lived….Because I see the underbelly of society? I know what could be out there…and I cried because it’s not her fault that she can’t just be. It’s because of the people in this world that want to harm children. And that is not her fault and yet she has to suffer for it.

And I finally cried because I have done it…I have broken the cycle. My daughter is not the smelly kid. She is not the one worth rubbish shoes and hand me downs. … She is living differently

Then I brushed myself down ad went back in. I run her a bubble bath…with the bubbles she likes…and said, “Time for a bath bubba.”
“Oh my god!….stamp stamp stamp…  “ I never get to rest” …Stamp stamp…. Takes herself into her bubble bath and watches films on her phone…

I broke the cycle. And I could not be prouder.

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