(22nd April 2011)

It always surprises me how much young children know, and how aware they are. It also scares me a little how like little sponges they are, absorbing our every word and mannerism and belief, and spurting it out in any given situation. Like in the park in Lennox Heads the other day…

A little girl plays peacefully. She is wearing pink shorts and no shirt. She is about four or five. She swings from one rope to the next, and jumps onto the tower. Suddenly she is surrounded by about five or six other kids her age and older jeering and taunting her into a corner, yelling “Nudie Girl! Nudie Girl!” One of the boys was “nudie” too, but he was jeering, and not being jeered into a corner of the playground. The parents sat close by, sipping lattes.
Why should these children care with such passion? What is it to them that a young girl doesn’t wear a top? And this is the scary part. Obviously they do care, and they care because their parents care, or someone they know cares, and even at four it’s not ok to be nudie in public.
I sound like a shriveled prune when I ask “What is the world coming to??”