My brother tackled me last weekend about where we live. He has concerns that my children will end up wearing track suits all day every day and on remand in the district court. We had a robust discussion on the influence of parents versus that of peers, the nature of the local peers in what I would call a mixed area and whether it was fair to visit your social notions on your children which ended with one of us flouncing out of the room and banging the door. Isn’t it great the way when you are at your parents’ house you can revert to behaviour that was last given an airing in your teens?
Still, it all gave me pause for further thought. Our parish newsletter this week led with “The Gospel to the Gangland” which didn’t help. Then I went to a local park where F often takes the children. There were a bunch of Slovakian children there who seemed to know mine well. They were nice children and my boys were clearly delighted to see them. They were accompanied by a pleasant man (you know, not let out on their own running wild or anything) but I couldn’t help noticing that he had a tattoo on his neck. Did I not read somewhere that this is an invariable sign of gang membership? Or is it just a sign of a fondness for pain? In short, I feel that I am in territory where my mother never had to venture.