MAVIS BECKLES – Parents’ fears
WELL, we are now fully into summer and already it is hot and rainy, and all the children are out o’ school, which means dat duh now got a whole lot o’ time pon duh hands tuh do and think ’bout all sorts o’ things – good and bad.
The summer is also a time when poor parents does be in nettles, especially when duh got teenage children who now feeling freer dan evah wid all duh exams done and behind dem and duh now doing like the old-time song we used tuh sing: “No more Latin, no more French/ no more sitting pon the old hard bench. When the teacher ring the bell / tek up ya books and run like hell.”
Some children does be feeling suh free dat duh does cahn wait tuh hang out wid duh friends at the cinema, in town, in and out o’ the people stores, confusing the people displays but obviously not intending tuh buy nutten.
A lot o’ dem does end up going tuh the beach wid friends who, like dem, cahn swim tuh save duh life and got the poor lifeguards busy.
I fuh one would hate tuh stand and hear dat my teenage son drown while bathing wid some of his friends. Every year just before the summer vacation starts or just as it is winding down, ya does hear dat a young man drown.
A couple years ago, my heart hurt me when I saw the pastor’s son and his best friend – young, brilliant university students – drown.
Then there was the principal o’ Parkinson School who lost a son the same way and only the other day when dat 16-year-old school boy drowned, I saw how broken a mother was when she heard the news ’bout her son.
Some o’ dem, especially the boys, does even want tuh hang pon the block wid their friends and all o’ dat does got the poor parents going through bare stress.
All o’ dem does see one another either in the bus terminal, in the school bus or pon the very block when duh going tuh or coming home from school. Duh doan even realize the danger dat duh in when dem pon the block. Look at the li’l boy who was hanging out pon the block wid his friends.
He wasn’t a bad boy; he was just hanging out enjoying the company of his friends when all of a sudden duh say a car pull up ’longside o’ dem and people start shooting. Next thing the li’l boy was dead, a young life gone just so, just one week after his 16th birthday.
These children doan realize the amount o’ danger dat they are exposed tuh especially around this time of the year and the poor parents wid duh hearts in duh mouts evah time dem step outta the house.
Some parents does be so upset dat duh teenagers doan do anything productive all summer long – all duh seem tuh be doing is texting one another, even when dem in the very same room.
Duh pon Facebook fuh hours on end, giving out too much private and personal information ’bout demselves and duh friends dat could turn up tuh haunt dem in years tuh come, like the tattoos and videos pon YouTube.
Sometimes duh doan even want tuh get up tuh wash up the very wares duh eat and drink from or duh pon the thing called Twitter following up pon all the movie stars and singers who out there living duh lives tuh the max and mekking tons o’ money.
In the meantime, some o’ these same teenagers get left down because duh fail too many classes. The parents, on the other hand, would be glad if they would go tuh summer classes, go and join the library, go and volunteer at one o’ the many camps duh got all ovah the place, where they could learn all kinds o’ skills keeping duh minds active, and in the meantime being gainfully employed.
But when ya say A, ya gotta say B ’cause even then the parents still got tuh be vigilant ’bout these camps. Ya gotta know who running dem, he activities and the kinda supervision they would have. ’Cause lemmuh tell ya, evahwhere ya turn nowadays, it looks the very Devil does be there tuh corrupt ya children: some wutless adult who would want tuh molest a child, some force-ripe boy or girl who would want tuh intice and introduce ya child tuh vice or drugs.
I pray dat this summer vacation would be an incident-free one for our children and dat parents would be spared from the stress dat is associated with this time o’ the year.
Mavis Beckles was born and raised in The Orleans. She has an opinion on everything.