This is brat number 1, Rochelle, a few days ago. I've forgiven them I think.
Tim went missing in San Francisco when he was maybe Rochelle's age or a year older. The police were standing in my living room when he walked in. I had the same sick feeling then as I did last Saturday. Tim, if you've decided to start reading the blog, I'm sure you'll remember. I think many parents' first reaction upon finding their child safe is fury, then relief, then tears.
Thanks for all the comments. I think I needed some reassurance. One of the difficult things about starting over with kids at my age is keeping up with what's reasonable.
The commenters who said "lapse in judgment" are right. They're good girls for the most part - they just didn't think and that's what gets kids hurt. I lifted the grounding effective tomorrow. Tonight they hung out, did homework, and were generally very well behaved.
Suze talked about her mom frightening her so badly she was afraid to breathe (paraphrasing here - I'm afraid to go back and check the comment the way Blogger has been reacting lately). I don't want to do that to them. On the other hand, they need to know that the world is not always a safe place and they must be careful.
We have a low incidence here of harm coming to children (outside of domestic violence, and kids being caught in gang related crossfires) and statistically it's probably not that common anywhere or the more gruesome cases wouldn't make the headlines. Of course one case is one too many. We've had one famous kidnapping many years ago (Stephen Stayner), one or two disappearances, and a few reported sexual assaults or stalking of minors. Still, as L. said, we just "know" the one time we let our kid off the leash will be the one time something will happen. It goes with the parenting territory and it's always a balancing act between realizing your babies are growing up and need to stretch and keeping them as safe as possible in these times.
The Megan's law map of this city (or any other, I suppose) can be frightening. I don't look at it often unless someone else asks me to check on someone. I'd never let them out the door.
On to more cheerful subjects if I can think of any. Ray continues to improve. He tires easily still but at least he's here. He's been catching up on the sci-fi shows he missed. I have a cat in the middle of the bed, we have about half of the Christmas stuff stashed finally, and the laundry is put away at least until tomorrow.
I just switched over to Classic Arts on t.v. in time to watch an 80 year old woman doing Tosca in her apartment hallway. Followed by her equally elderly male neighbor singing an aria from Rigoletto. I have no idea what it's about but they'll tell me eventually. Now she's singing along with a recording. It was Sara Scuderi listening to a 1928 recording of herself singing Tosca's most well known aria. She was much before my time but I gather she was very well known. I call it Tosca's "Why Me Lord" song. She's pleading with the villain Scarpia (right before she plunges a fruit knife into his chest and then forgives him). "I have lived for art, I have lived for love - what have I ever done to deserve this." I'm very glad most operas are sung in their original language. The translations for me make the operas seem absurd (which they may be but the music carries them along).
If Tosca is as cheerful as I can be tonight, I'd better just get some sleep. I'm hunting recipes and weird little things to post. Maybe tomorrow. I made meat loaf today but it's like so much of my "clean the refrigerator" cooking. I couldn't duplicate it if I tried. It usually has veggies chopped fine and smuggled in and I steamed broccoli and stewed some sliced potatos. I read a good recipe on Sarah Elaine's blog earlier; maybe I'll bring it over here but she cooks somewhat like I do. (Sarah E. on blogroll). Recipe? Measure? Consistency? Not us.
We now have a Strauss Waltz. Much happier. I don't know which one - just which ones it isn't. It's one of the familiar ones but not as familiar as Blue Danube or Vienna Woods. Maybe Die Fledermaus. Everyone is dressed up for a winter party. Wow, I'm a genius and I don't even know Die Fledermaus that well - just bits and pieces. I wish the Public Television Station still ran it on New Year's Eve. I guess I could drag out my video. It's fun to watch and, as opposed to Tosca, nobody dies. Just some public humiliation and practical jokes.
News of fellow bloggers. Elliott has taken down his blog, at least for now and Dmitri may not be around as often. I said on isamericaburning the other day, life sometimes intervenes. I hope they'll be back. If you have an opportunity, drop in and say hi to Beckster at Gather Your Ideas. She hasn't been able to get around to the blogs as often but I know she'd love to hear from people. Beckster is the originator of some of the receipes that I've stolen and posted here.
Good night all.