Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Raising Kids is Not for the Weak of Heart

So many times I see a teenage boy and I think I sure hope my Oliver turns out like him. I am never talking about the star of the baseball field or the winning quarterback. I am always referring to the young man who holds the door for others, a kid who has the sense to use their manners and knows where the proper place to tell a fart joke is. When I am in my healthy moods (they come and go) and go jogging in the morning I end up passing lots of high school kids and I love the girls that look up at me and smile or say hello. I think I sure hope my Andi Jane will walk with the confidence to say hello to a stranger. There are so many amazing young people right now I see living big. I have some incredible nieces and a nephew whom I watch grow up and always say if my kids end up like my sisters, I am doing alright. But I also watched my sister keep them in line and my Lord it is a lot of work! I go to a church where there are rows and rows of High School kids who actually enjoy their church. Who go on missions and help build homes and make a difference in other people’s lives and I say “God please help me raise kids with hearts to serve, to love, to share.” I know raising kids is hard. So so hard. I know that things we do with them as very young children can and most likely will shape who they grow up into being. I know every stage of parenting is difficult but I mostly am afraid of the teen years. I get into battles with Andi Jane now that seem relentless and she is 7. I can only imagine the fights we will get into when she is 14 and loaded with ammo of hormones. I know newborns are rough. I know toddlers are tough. I know preschoolers can be down right frustrating and I am now learning that school age kids are pretty awesome, not without struggles of course, but I think this has got to be some of the most enjoyable years just to gear us up for the preteen and teen years. Parenting is hard. At any age, it is tough. But our kids have to know and these are the words from a friend of ours "I won't give up on you!" not matter what, we won't give up. We will stick it through it all because you are worth it.
Because when you eff it up and sorry that is the only way I can describe it, when you eff it up you can really create a monster. And it is so devastatingly sad to see what becomes of a bad childhood. And you don’t need to know what happens to a kid to make them so rotten, but you know it wasn’t good. And my heart wants to help these people, pray for these people, change these people but if they change or not, often it is something we don’t see, so we get discouraged and sad and heartbroken.
Not to long ago some kid, 10 feet tall and bulletproof under the protection of the nameless internet, posted a comment on a video of Lily on YouTube that as the most horrifying, disgusting, heart breaking thing a mother should never have to read about their own child. NEVER. I saw it and deleted it the second I saw it. I wish I hadn’t because after it sunk in and I told Andrew about it I tried to report the person but it was too late since the comment was deleted there is no way to contact YouTube about it. As a matter of fact there is no way to contact YouTube at all and so this person was able to make their comment, ruin my day and break my heart and with no repercussions and think they were pretty cool. Not that reporting anything would make any difference anyway, I am sure people say disgusting things all day, every day. Andrew called the Canadian Authorities (the posters info said they were from Canada) and reported it, but there is obviously nothing they could do. The cop did tell me that it was disgusting what they wrote but unfortunately there is “no law against being a douchbag”. I had to laugh at that and when Andrew wasn’t in ear shot, I said I know there is nothing you can do, but my husband was very upset and needed to do something and the cop said he totally understood and would have done the same thing. I love how protective men are over their families. Nothing sexier.
I wrote to this person on their page. I told them I was sorry for whatever happened in their past to make them who they are today. I told them I would pray for them and I told them to find a job and not a trench coat. I took the high road, I guess the medium road. I should have just simply ignored them. But my heart hurt. My stomach ached. I am not kidding when I say what they said was horrifying. Their comment was of wanting to cause brutal physical harm to my beautiful Lily. My mom wanted to know what they said, I told her no she didn’t, she said yes she did so I handed her my iphone with the email from YouTube stating so and so (douchbag in Canada) left you a comment. My mom read it and tears instantly sprang to her eyes. She could not believe what they wrote. She could not believe people are out there that would say something like that in reference to a little girl trying to walk with her physical therapist. But I know this person, this anonymous person, this 19 year old from Canada must have had a life I could never imagine giving them this kind of perspective on life. This person was most likely once a child who wasn’t loved like they should have been. Wasn’t told they were awesome and they will change the world. They weren’t told they were loved. They mustn’t have been hugged. And that makes me sad. And it makes me most sad because if they can treat strangers the way they do, how will the life cycle continue for them? I pray for this person. I pray that their heart can turn. They can and they will change their own future. I will never know what happens in this person’s life. I will never know if their heart softens, but I like to think it will. I like to think they will feel shame and remorse for the things they say and make a change in their life for the better. I can make my own ending to this story because the reality will probably never surface. But in my ending they change. They heal, they love, and they change their future.
Please love your kids. Hug your kids. Yes they spill things, they sharpie things, they loose your favorite things, they break things, but they need you. They need you to correct them, but love them. They need you to show them the way with a tender touch. They need to see a walking talking example of who you need to be. We can’t make them who we want them to be, but we sure can give them the tools to make the right choices and not go online and say really shitty things that breaks the hearts of a strangers.
That's it. That is all I will ever say again about this. That person took up too much of our energy and took up too much of my feelings. They accomplished their goal. So I am done with it. I said my prayers and I am at peace.

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