On the Wings of a Hand in Glove

10.02.15 (Day 414)


It’s good to talk and a lot of people like talking to me and gaining my advice.

Another one of my teenage friends and adopted children has been grounded because of her association with me. She’s had her wings clipped. Adopted because like so many others, she adopted me and not the other way around. That’s how it’s always been.

I don’t go looking for these kids, nor hang out with them any more than I would prey on them. I don’t habitually hang out with the kids because of the false assumptions that the plastic police make as that’s the way society has conditioned them. I have my own life and there’s always plenty to do but I make time to help people when they need me.

Sometimes I go to pubs. Pubs are public houses. That means that they are open to the public. Sometimes teenagers associate with me in pubs; in a public place where there are other adults. And when the teenagers are in the same place as me, invariably they are good company. Many of them are wise beyond their years, sometimes because of their upbringing.

Sometimes these young adults come to me because they need to speak to someone and they’re afraid to talk to their own parents. I’m not a replacement, I don’t tread on toes. I have my own kids and I look forward to their teenage years with trepidation. They’ll grow up and it’ll be as though I’m gradually losing them as they gain independence from me. But I won’t stifle them by grounding them. Start treating your kids like the young adults they are, like I do. Don’t clip their wings, allow them to spread. They’ll make mistakes but you’re there to pick up the pieces. You can’t wrap them up in cotton wool. They come to me for sage advice because they trust me. That advice is sometimes brutally honest: I’m not afraid.

I don’t have any qualifications other than what life has taught me. I fell by the wayside, which is what some of your kids might do if you make them rebel. I have experience of life, which I share as I don’t want them to make the same mistakes I did and for you to suffer as parents like mine have.

Did you know that I stopped one of your daughters killing herself? Probably not because she was too scared to come to you so she came to me instead.

I have a lot of time and love for those kids, just as I do my own. The terms of endearment are just that: affectionate ways of addressing people, as I do my own kids and as we do in London, where I come from: Bermondsey to be precise. Up there we know how things work the old fashioned way and we look after family, both biological and adopted.

I’ll probably receive threats now. It happened before. I’ve been reported to the real police by the plastic brigade because of my associations with young people. Nothing happened because there was no wrongdoing. If I do receive threats, then I won’t deal with them the Bermondsey way but I’ll reciprocate by going to the police myself. I have nothing to hide as I have done nothing wrong. I have character witnesses ranging in age from teenagers whom I’ve helped to people my age, some of whom are the parents of the very kids I’ve helped alongside them as parents.

I’m staying with one of the kids and her family while I wait for a place of my own. Look at yourself before you look at me and ask who’s doing the better job. My job is just being me: writing, cooking and dispensing the occasional piece of advice. I can provide references.

By grounding your kid, you’re just going to make her kick back and rebel. By clipping her wings, you will only encourage her to fly the nest at the earliest opportunity.

I have done nothing wrong and therefore have nothing to apologise for.

Maybe it’s time the groundings and the threats stopped. Maybe it’s time to talk. Then you might realise that when your children are with me and other adults, they are safe.

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