I really don’t like the use of the word “grounded” to describe a punishment meted out to recalcitrant teenagers. For me being grounded is an ideal state to aim for. It’s about having my feet firmly on the ground, being connected with the world I live in and having a realistic view of life.
I've been thinking about the idea of “groundedness” in the sense of being connected today. I've got a birthday soon but today is the birthday of an old school friend. I haven’t seen her in forty years and we are no longer in touch although I saw her parents a few years ago and they told me that she is the mother of grown up children. I have lovely memories of playing with her. She was quite an athlete and no-one would ever describe me like that. She had brothers and a sister close to her in age so there was always someone to play with at her house while mine was quieter as my only sister was several years older than me. I don’t know why she wanted me as her friend but for those few years of childhood she was important to me. Yes, we've lost touch but she was part of the childhood which made me what I am today. Happy Birthday, Glenda, wherever you are.
But today I met up with Doreen, a friend I met when I was in my twenties. Her daughter was in the Guide Company which I ran and we were members of the same church. We’re both looking an awful lot older than we did but today we met up for lunch and it was two hours of non-stop laughter. She’s a woman with her feet firmly on the ground but she has a real joy which is infectious.
So today I feel truly grounded. I’ve remembered an important friend of my childhood and I’ve met up with a friend of my middle age. And it’s great!