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In Our House, Safety First Usually Happens the Fourth Time Around

Posted Sep 14 2009 10:22pm

Safety patrol hopey

My youngest daughter (she's 8) is tired of being last. How do I know?

"It's...[sniff]...real hard...[hiccup] be...[snort]...the youngest...[sniff]...all the time!" 

Because, she told me, just the other day.

"I know, sweetie."

I grew up in a generation where parents thought it would be a real good idea to, you know, start talking to their kids about stuff, while mine were, well, still learning English.  

"But, it's not easy being grown up, either."

Besides, their parents never talked to them about stuff, and their grandparents never talked to their parents, and so on, and so on... 

"Besides, you are a safety!" 

What? I never said I was good at it.  Talking to my kids, I mean.  Besides, she was wearing her safety patrol belt. I saw it. It triggered something in my brain:

a) They didn't have safety patrols when my oldest girls were in elementary school.  
b) How upset my son was, when he didn't get picked. 

YES...that's it...this would be Hope's claim to fame! 

"Aaaand, well, your sisters and brother didn't get picked." 

But, in my head, all I could hear was a much younger, not to mention, more tired and less grayish, inner-voice saying how this, too, was a bad thing to say and this line of reasoning will, no doubt, one day, come back and bite me in the butt, too!


"Yeah, aaaand I didn't pretend to lose my belt, like some kids did, so I could get a cool new orange one, either!"

[sound of crickets chirping]


What?  She's got a yellow belt.  Apparently, orange is way cooler.  Aaaand, it's not like she actually went through with it, right?

"Because, being a safety means I'm responsible, right!"

Aaaand, in this house, seeing as I'm her mother, that IS a good thing. 


Even now, after years of trying to raise my kids, to be kind and respectfully towards each other, I can't help but think that there aren't enough good feelings in the world, to keep any one of them from believing that, eventually, someone got more [insert tangible, or intangible item here] than they did.

"I told Mrs. So-and-So that I am the first safety in the house!"

Then, I looked at the clock.

"Just tell Mrs. So-and-So that Mommy made you late, again."

What?  She's a mother AND she knows me. 

"She'll believe you." 

Besides, it was the best I could do, without at least my second cup of coffee, I mean, right?

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