I hadn’t expected B to be a big fan of the late 1980s popular beat combo N.W.A. and to be honest I don’t think he is. However, he echoed their sentiments in a random conversation in the back of the car last week. He didn’t use those words but his views were clear.
Mrs DB and I would like to think of ourselves as pretty normal. Normal may not be the right word but average probably does it. We both grew up in pretty unremarkable households and hold a belief system that probably sits somewhere in the centre of most things. With the possible exception of my views on kidney beans.
I never had a rebellious period as a teenager, unless you count the 3 weeks I refused to read the Beano and insisted on the Dandy. [This is a joke, I didn’t read the Beano as a teenager. What kind of spoilt young adult had enough pocket money for the Beano and Farmer’s Weekly? I wasn’t afraid of making difficult choices.]
I’m the kind of man who sees a police car on the motorway and straightens his tie, as well as ensuring I’m 2 mph under the speed limit. Not 1 mph, you understand. That would risk failing to take into account a margin of error with the speedo.
Given all that, to hear your 3 year old say that they didn’t like the police “because they take people away”, came as a massive shock.
It invoked a weird mix of anger, confusion and sadness, coupled with an inability to understand whether by “people” he was talking about himself or talking about those who had been around him during his early years.
If the former, it was heartbreaking. We don’t know what happened. Perhaps, understandably, he confuses protection with punishment?
If the latter, it makes you mad.
It also makes you realise that when you have a child through adoption you inherit somebody already pre-programmed with a set of values and beliefs that don’t necessary accord with yours. But that’s ok.
My job isn’t to brainwash B with my own beliefs but it is to love him, show him a good example and demonstrate to him a values system that hopefully sets him up for the future. Reading that sentence back, I’m not sure how easy a line that is to tread and perhaps parenting is brainwashing by a different name.
Anyway, whatever it is I’ve started… and have nearly got myself arrested 3 times in the process. Now, every time we see a policeman, I make a point of going up to them and saying hello and talking about how they are there to look after us.
It sometimes works. It sometimes doesn’t. I think that female Community Support Officer certainly took my advances in the wrong way.
A taser was disproportionate by anyone’s values system.