PATSY R. BRUMFIELD: Springtime trips deserve parental care

By Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal

Spring is in the air, despite its being only a February tease. It makes me think about my yard and garden, but also about those well-meant spring trips taken by so many young people.
It’s easy to understand why energetic, adventure-seeking young folks want to get away from Mom and Dad, and see a bit of life.
I completely get that.
But it’s extremely difficult to understand why apparently mature parents have so few qualms about allowing these energetic, adventure-seeking young folks to go perhaps hundreds – yea, thousands – of miles from home without chaperones.
Imagine the awful grief suffered by so many parents recently, if they had children on that ill-fated Carnival cruiseliner.
It’s almost mind-numbing to calculate the fear that must have been felt by almost everyone as they marked five days on that massive ship without any power against the oceanic elements.
It hasn’t been that long ago that Alabama teenager Natalee Holloway embarked on a grand Caribbean adventure with her high school classmates.
Her parents are still looking for her body, although most likely the sea has claimed her.
That trip was without chaperones or barely with chaperones.
I’d suggest that with the addition of responsible adults, Natalee would have finished college by now and be among the many launching their adult lives.
Bless them, my poor kids will tell you they rarely went anywhere without me or someone I trusted.
We went a lot of places, and I’m sure there were moments where one or both of them wished I were somewhere else.
But that was a non-starter. I wasn’t going to be somewhere else.
Heavens, how else would I have gotten to see The Rolling Stones three times in three months?
My darling mother accused me of having a romantic interest in Stones’ lead guitarist Keith Richard.
Mother, I said, have you seen Keith Richard?
Frankly, Keith’s romantic interests surely gazed upon much younger objects than I anyway.
This is my point: At the very least, do not let your high school-age children go off somewhere without you or some other adult you trust implicitly.
I hate to sound like a cynic, but I’m not so sure there are too many other people I would trust with my children. Have you read the news lately, even locally?
I’ve written fairly extensively about adults who “court” parents so they can get access to their children, especially young ones. But that doesn’t mean some people don’t get weird with older children. We parents cannot be so cavalier about what our children do, where they do it and with whom. I’d want to eyeball every single person who came in contact with my kids. The only way to do that is to be there.
So, if you’re thinking about allowing your child to head off somewhere without you, please reconsider. It doesn’t mean you don’t trust your child. I merely means you don’t trust other people with your child.
For goodness sake, why spend all these years loving and caring and protecting your child, and then throw it all away?
Pack that suitcase and make your reservation. You will not be sorry.
Patsy R. Brumfield writes a Thursday column. Contact her at (662) 678-1596 or Follow her on Twitter @realnewsqueen.

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