Tuesday, 6 November 2012
If I were to write a children's book, I know what I would call it
We watch our kids. We do so because we have been acculturated to worry about them, to be alarmed on their behalf -- which is to say, we watch them because we love them, and we want to keep them safe. We watch them assiduously, tenderly, right up to the moment (at school or nursery drop-off) when we hand them over to CRB-checked professionals who will watch over them on our behalf. And kids need to know that they are loved; that's vitally important. And kids like the knowledge that somebody who loves them is looking out for them. But kids need other things too, and some of those things aren't compatible with our wrap-them-in-cotton-wool surveillance. Kids need, sometimes, to go off on their own. Kids need a time and a place in which they know they are not being watched. If I were to write a children's book, I know what I would call it: The Secret Places.