The Wrong Age

“Children should be seen and not heard”
Nowadays that just sounds absurd.
Why would you miss out on the noise
Of free expression, curiosity and innocent joys?
What else the point, the raison d’être
If not to love, serve and nurture;
The reward of guiding to adulthood, your children
Through the maze of risk and rebellion.

Imagine though who came before –
No “teenage” years as we would recognise.
Straight from childhood, to work or war
And the next generation to raise
Without role models to follow,
or personal experience to bring to bear.
Ill-equipped to deal with this new age
When faced with disaffection, privilege and unreasonable rage.

Lacking the confidence or skills
To cope with kids who would not do as they were told
Loud voice, firm hand to exert control,
Too often into violence spills,
Instilling fear, dislike, and not respect.
But time and living provides perspective
The hurt and confusion we forgive.
Old and frail, hearing, strength and authority gone
Those wayward youths you now depend upon
For company, care and chatter,
The noise of children is now welcome.
(Maybe missed curfews, back-chat and doors left open didn’t matter)

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