Wednesday, November 16, 2016

What Happened to Childhood?

Yesterday, I happened to be walking in my neighbourhood at about 5:30pm, when I heard the voice of a little girl behind me say in a local language, "Ma, let's go home, I'm tired". Then I heard the voice of an older woman (her mum, I guess) respond somewhat sarcastically, "sure, we'll go home right now, and you'll see what you'll eat" (also in local language). Not to make it look too obvious what I was doing (eavesdropping), I waited till I turned onto my street, then I looked back. I saw a woman with a pan of vegetables on her head, a girl, not more than 10 years old also with a pan of vegetables on her head, and close behind a boy of about 6 years, with a slightly smaller pan of vegetables on his head.

Now, I'm all grown up and all, so I don't remember all the details of my childhood, but I know for sure my eating never depended on me selling vegetables or anything for that matter. Matter of fact, at that age, most conversations with my mum about food went something like,
"Dentaa, food's ready".
"Mum, really? Not again. I'm not having that"!

What happened to childhood?

Yesterday reminded me of something I saw last week with the intention of blogging about it, and then life happened, I forgot, and then yesterday happened, and then I remembered.
So, last week, I was heading home when I saw a girl of not more than 11 years with a baby on her back, crossing the road to buy something.

At that age, the only responsibility I had was remembering the time Cartoon Network showed Power Puff Girls and Courage the Cowardly Dog and of course Dexter's Lab, so I didn't miss them. And when I was the age of the baby, my mum sure never put no 11 year old in charge of me!

What happened to childhood?

And then there are all the children I see weaving in and out of traffic either selling or begging for money to feed themselves and their families.

Whose fault?
What happened to childhood?
#CountYourBlessings

8 comments:

  1. Interesting piece. It engages deep thought

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  2. I once saw a girl of 15 years selling pop corn in traffic after 11pm... Who buys pop corn IN TRAFFIC AROUND THAT TIME? I asked where her mum was... And she said mommy was asleep. What happened to childhood?

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    1. Mommy asleep, daughter at work?
      That's a new low.

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  3. Blessings.....
    Some realities are not the same. at 11 & 12 my sister and I were going to the market, grocery store, cooking, cleaning house etc. It is what it is, looking from the outside is not the same as living it on the inside.

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    1. It's ok for children to help around the house, have household responsibilities and all. My difficulty lies with children having to work (endangering their lives sometimes) to cater for themselves and their families. That is so not their responsibility. There are laws against that. And how does a 10 year old raise up a baby? How does that even work?

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