Sometimes it is the familiar mixed with a new discovery that brings us joy.
That is what children can do for us.
I loved my kids as precious babies and cuter than puppies toddlers, but it is the adolescent years that are so rewarding. That is the time when a good parenting pays off.
It is bittersweet in seeing into the future and knowing your kids for the adults they will be and knowing they’ll soon be grown.
Even if you know people who lived through the Victorian times (or worse) don’t be in a Victorian mind-set when it comes to discussing serious facts about our bodies, or minds and our culture to your kids. The consequences of not talking openly to your children could result in tragic consequences that parents never imagine. Yes, it could by YOUR child making such bad choices if they are not properly educated at an early age.
When I was their age nobody talked about what it was to be a Vampire. Everyone talked in hushed tones with threats of darkness and guilt. The Victorian times had taken over our community.
Be forward to your kids about conversions and the consequences.
One day on the way to the art museum downtown with my kids and a couple of their vampire friends, we drove by a beautiful old house. I told my kids and a couple of their vampire friends “Teddy built that house. In fact he stills owns it” It was built in the 1880’s.
Theodore, called Teddy but everyone who knew him, was exceedingly handsome by any standards. He charmed everyone, human and vampire with his warmth and humor.
I was just a teenager at the time. My girlfriends and I considered him one of our favorite subjects. We adored this handsome man that my older brother worked for. Teddy was engaged to be married. He had a life ahead of him. What I didn’t tell my friends was that I too was in love with Teddy, hopelessly in love.
On the other hand Isadora, a naive friend who spent too much time with her head in romance novels decided that Teddy would be hers. She obsessed with him, flirted, and giggled. She even spoke of making him into a vampire. We looked at her in disgust and told her what a stupid idea that was. We told her the consequences.
But she didn’t listen to us. Her parents had sheltered her and treated her like a child. She knew nothing about the horrors of being a converted vampire or the physical and mental toll one takes at converting a human. Her brain was full of fantasy and rebellion. To top it off she was vain and self centered – not a trait you ever want in any self respecting vampire.
Teddy announced his engagement to a clever, educated young woman from a good family. He was in love.
Isadora became sullen and angry upon hearing the news. She swore she’d always love him. We told her to stay out of the business of humans and how stupid it was to fall in love with a human man.
Her parents’ attempts to keep her innocent made her dangerous. She had no training in self control or the ways of mature adult vampires. She was filled with ideas of dark romance and fueled by popular fiction.
The night of Teddy’s engagement party she stole into his room after he’d fallen asleep. Isadora slipped naked into his bed and put him into a fog of lust and desire. Slipping out of her clothes she crawled into bed with him and tried to make her sick and twisted fantasy come true. Then she converted him, or at least tried.
She botched it. He was in a hellish half way state. He was ill and depressed for years, not accepting what he’d become. Even worse was that most of the vampire community aren’t converts. Those of us who are born with our genetic disposition know we’re normal. Someone who is converted unwillingly sees it as pure hell. To be born something and then be turned into a different animal is a nightmare and a living hell for anyone.
Teddy lost everything. He’d never known fully of our community or even heard of vampires. Honestly the poor man thought he was in the community of monsters.
Isadora’s parents were shocked and wondered what went wrong. They blamed my other friends and me for being bad influences but the community backed us up. Isadora’s parents desire to protect Isadora had made her nothing but ignorant and a danger to herself and others. What is it they say about a little bit of knowledge – yes indeed it is a dangerous thing.
I didn’t see Teddy again for 10 years. He finally accepted who he had become. Isadora wasn’t so lucky.
In 1903 I saw her in Paris. She came to my hotel asking if I knew where Teddy was, claiming she still longed for him. She was dressed in high fashion but her skin was gray and her hair was dull. When she moved her arm I saw sores under her cuffs. I could only imagine what her entire body looked like covered with sores from unclean feeding practices. The once pretty chocolate brown eyes were now rimmed with red. It was her mouth that disgusted me. Her once pretty teeth were brownish and one of her eye teeth was missing. Isadora’s breath smelled like rotting flesh. The very idea of her touching Teddy made me want to cry. I told her if she ever tried to get near Teddy again that I would kill her.
A year later I heard a local vampire gang had torched her and left her to die because she’d been seducing and killing humans. Even the low life vampires know not to kill. She’d become a rogue vampire for the simple fact that her parents had never told her out front the not so pretty facts of life about our species.
Years later I married Teddy. Our children know about his past, not all of the details, but they know about girls like Isadora.
So talk to your kids. Keep the lines of communications open. And watch for the signs.