This post is just some rambling musings that I thought I'd bring to the blog for general thoughts and conversation.
This past weekend, my teenage nehpew, who I love much like the son I never had, succumbed. To what, I haven't yet fully decided. Peer pressure? A natural curiosity? A sense of reckless adventure? Or perhaps, he was just being a typical teen. You see, he and his friends went to the park, bought some vodka, and 'chased' it down, he said with his little impish grin, with a can of coke.
Now, he's under-aged (19 is the legal drinking age here in Ontario, Canada), and he's a few years shy of it. So, yes, what he did was illegal, and bad, and blah, blah. His parents were properly horrified, he's grounded, and basically been subjected to every adult admonishment possible. But his aunt, that 'bad influence' erotic romance writer felt compelled to stick up for the boy~at least somewhat. You see, my nephew, when everything is taken into account is a good kid. He treats his mom with the utmost respect, he goes to school, gets decent grades, doesn't skip classes. He's a gem of guy with his 9 y/o cousin (my kidlet who does enjoy tormenting him about kissing girls) and basically, he's never screwed up before. He also did some things right that night.
1. He came home, assisted with the help of a friend who was, thankfully, sober.
2. He did not try to hide the fact he was three sheets to the wind. He 'manned' up as I called it, admitted his faux pas, and accepted the fact that he's grounded--indefinitely.
So, me being liberal, and remembering those teenage temptations attempted to smooth over things, much to the narrow gaze of his parents, who apparently have convienantly forgotten their teenage years, either that or they were both utter saints, doing nothing but studying, staying home on the weekends, and attending church on Sunday morning. Perhaps this poor lad really did have sterling parents, but his aunt unfortunately was a bit of a rebel and a hell cat during her informative years. Needless to say, my help fell on deaf ears and the often cried 'I never did that. I would never do anything that might have gotten me into trouble' overroad my 'kids do this. It was one time....'. Apparently, they don't recall their teenage years very well, because I bet they did do at least one thing that could be called questionable!
During this hullabaloo, in which everyone was scandalized and shocked, it occured to me, that in historical times, this gent would not be in any sort of trouble. He'd probably be off at Cambridge and Oxford, getting an education in life, along with latin and mathematics. He'd be schooled in cock fights, dog fights, gambling dens and hells, hookers, whores and charlatains. Many would have already lost their virginity, created illegtimate offspring, and lost a packet of their father's money.
It's funny, how even three quarters of a century makes a difference in the way we see our children, and our moral conscienceness. My sister in law kept proclaiming that he was a 'boy', I tried to tell her that at 6 ft 5, he's a very tall young adult who must learn through his own folly.
In the Victorian era, and definitely in early eras, he'd be considered a man, perhaps, gasp, a duke!!!
I realize that times are different, and all that rot, but it made me pause, and think of how it used to be. How we as writers think nothing of our young hero getting a lesson from a brandy decanter and a worldly woman. Even as readers, we accept that this was the way.
Funny how back then things were never made a big to-do over, drinking, whoring, bastards.....
Of course, I'm quite certain that I shall cease to become the ' cool, 'with it' aunt' once my darling offspring decides to head to the park with a mickey of spirits. lol!
So, what do we think of the past? Did parents get all bent out of shape because their child went on a bender, or were they too busy, too absorbed in their own lives to give a bloody toss? Was it just accepted that these things happened at this point in time?