Sunday, November 25, 2012

Caring for the carers

A rare weekend off and I take the opportunity to catch up with C, the younger of two brothers who were at the rescue house three years ago. Just turned fourteen (although you wouldn’t guess it from his height), he really appreciated the impromptu visit and a chance to take a recently donated inflatable boat out onto the lake near his home.

As I peeled the leaches off the soles of my feet, I reflected on a recent string of calls he made to the house. I know things are tougher at home than he lets up, but the idea of the visit was to give him a little respite from his younger siblings (responsibility for whom has been thrust on him at such a young age), not to pry.  

Cs situation is no different to hundreds of thousands of his contemporaries in this most warped of familial infrastructures, where mothers must work because of absentee fathers and older sons are obliged to take their mother’s place as primary care-giver to the children. No time, no chance for the kids just to be kids. Not just losing a dad, but a childhood too.

Why do my sunglasses always look cooler on kids?

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