when i was a teenager, i lived in a small village in upstate new York, 8 miles from the Canadian border. it was beyond my capacity to imagine going anywhere on vacation independently during the spring break from school. yes, some families who could afford it would take the entire family on vacation. however, we never took a vacation as we 1.) didn't own a car and b.) we lived on welfare & did not have any money to do so. we NEVER even contemplated flying, for that was something only the rich did.
today's rendition of even the WORDS spring break connotate something out of a beer-drugs-fuckfest world to me. it's all about young teens going to a resort area with the intent to party as hard as possible, forgoing all safety, sane, family values for the time they are there. the GOAL is to drink and have sex as much as possible so they can brag about such accomplishments and compare notes with others who may have or have not gone, too. it seems to me the wilder the actions are, the more popular they are perceived.
as a parent, this enrages me.
thinking about it as one of today's teens would scare the shit out of me. images of Natalie Holloway remain in the back of my mind, along with others like her who never got a mention in the news.
on CNN this morning it was reported that 6 rapes have already occurred in the first few days in the Daytona beach vicinity, which is a hot spot for spring break. there are warnings of a rapist on the loose in the news. some of the girls who were raped were as young as 14. FOURTEEN! who in their right mind would let their child of 14 go to someplace like that unsupervised in the first place?
teens will do whatever it takes to get to go, even resorting to getting fake ID's and lying to their parents about having a chaperone accompanying them. and even if true, one of those really "cool" chaperones might actually go with them, but not supervise properly as they are "way cool". i think that mindset boils down to the desire to become their child's bestest buddy rather than being the parent and enforcing boundaries for their own good. some of these kids have no idea of what COULD happen to them. after all, didn't we think we were invincible at that age?
my point is, as parents we need to watch out for our children all the more these days, as the world of perverts and perpetrators has ballooned to unimaginable proportions. our youth are not as safe as they think. nothing we can say can drive that message as deeply home as we would like. AND even with the most mature- knowledgeable- rule following- hyper vigilant for danger kinds of kids, bad things STILL happen.
there is NO fucking WAY i would allow any of my kids to go on spring break to a resort area. even if i accompanied them and we went as a family, i would feel like i had to be so guarded and watchful for danger that i probably wouldn't even enjoy the vacation myself if they were not in my sight the whole time.
what kind of world are we living in when the threat of danger taints what should be innocent enjoyable things such as everyday life at home or going on vacation?
and where does a parent draw the line on liberties our children have grown to feel entitled to have?
and finally, how the hell have they grown to feel entitled to such things rather than appreciate the privilege of being able to have a cell phone or iPod... car.. or to go on vacation. these things are privileges.. NOT entitlements.
but that's a topic for a whole other post..