Events have meant I spend a fair amount of time trying to recall childhood, teenage and young adult life experiences in an attempt to understand how I could have been so oblivious to how I was being viewed, how others felt, and how fragile and transient was the ordinariness I so took for granted.
As my own children traverse a very different route in life, I now contrast and compare.
One stark difference it appears is the definition of polite conversation
My son is mocked and jeered for "his" religion, is told that the political party supported by one third of his classmates would deport him and his family, and the class boys have had detailed discussions about parents income, and astronomical value of homes (in the context of the school's version of the national elections, labour supporters being mocked for living in houses worth less than 2 million pounds)
I cannot recall an exact conversation, but am still guided by a set of principles, that some things were private and should remain so, religion was never discussed, and money was never brought up, everything seemed fair on the surface, but just below the surface was the ugliness waiting to fatally surface.