We have crossed a threshold recently, where, when a group of families get together, our kids are old enough to be able to join the fray unattended. This in turn, signifies another new beginning: the dawn of adult conversation. It’s awesome. A huge relief. We sit and talk, drinking wine. The kids race around various apartments and houses and backyards, forming their own governments. But it does come with a teeny bit of anxiety, when I see the parade of maniac children race by, wondering which one’s going to be the first ritual sacrifice.
And of course, praying it’s not mine. Lately, the words Lord Of The Flies seem to come up at almost every party.
Lord of the Flies has become universal language for Chaotic Sadistic Government Run by Children. I can’t remember the original story. I remember there was a bad kid named Piggy and a bunch of fires and murders, and I loved/hated it when I read it as a kid…and have no desire to revisit it as a parent. Because some version of that nightmare flashes through my mind every time my kid comes home from a party or a playdate with a dramatic tale of how he got stepped on or smashed (and/or I find out that he’s done some smashing himself).
It’s a tiny version, but a scary one nonetheless. Funny how freedom can quickly turn into a parent’s nightmare.