I don’t know why, but I feel really, REALLY strongly about my thoughts today.
Well, actually, I know WHY I feel strongly about them,
I just don’t necessarily understand why I feel so strongly about SHARING them today.
But I learned long ago to never, ever, EVER ignore this feeling.
My 15 year old daughter recently experienced something that most parents never even dream their children will experience! A good friend of hers died very suddenly and completely unexpectedly. We got word while at a swim meet and our world literally felt like it imploded on us…
This kiddo was a cute kid-
I’m talking this kid was popular, good-looking, talented, smart, funny, sweet, polite, respectful, athletic, and everyone knew him! Really, I mean EVERYONE!! At their 8th grade awards ceremony- he was recognized for all of it! He had the potential to be ANYTHING he wanted to be.
But he got a little experimental and in an evening of curiosity, he fell victim to a wave of drugs that I didn’t even know existed. You definitely want to follow his dad’s Facebook page at — for all the real information.
My daughter had made a REALLY difficult decision a few months prior to stop spending time with him because of some of the choices he was making. When he passed away, it really brought some of these friends back together as they all had such wonderful memories that they wanted to share together. As a parent, it was really encouraging to see all these kids come together to love Montana and mourn together.
So when our house was nominated as THE New Year’s Eve party house, I was 100% on board.
Actually, I was not only on board, but I was so GRATEFUL to know that the kids would be hanging out here- where I could keep an eye on things.
30 kids showed up that night- 3 parents called me to check to see if I would be home, 2 parents gave me their cell phone numbers in case of emergency and 1 parent came up to the door to meet the hosting parents! (*** Remember these statistics, they are important***)
Things were going pretty good; lots of fun, laughter, giggling, talking and games –>
… and then the doorbell rang and the two boys that entered wouldn’t look at the hubs and I
AND they made a beeline with book bags to our media room.
My gut instinct knew why they wouldn’t look at us AND what was in the book bags- I told my hubby and we were trying to determine how we could stay upstairs to keep an eye on the situation without pointing fingers and putting a big target sign above this kids head…
Just a few seconds later, my daughter comes downstairs and, with a ton of anxiety rushing through her voice, told us he needed to go home “NOW”! “He’s been drinking, he’s drunk… and he can’t stay here!”
Teens in the room hurry (hoping to get it all FIGURED OUT) and call big brother to pick passed out kid up from our home- BUT the well intentioned kids, who were more concerned with getting the boy in TROUBLE than his SAFETY, called a teenager who had been DRINKING on NEW YEARS EVE!!!
In the two minutes my hubs got up stairs to assess the situation, this kiddo had already passed out in a pool of his own vomit! This kid was the best friend of the young boy who had died NOT even two weeks prior. He had been a pall bearer at the funeral. He was being talked to and watched carefully by the school counselors. This wasn’t a first time gig for him.
AND his was one of the FEW parents who called me and gratefully was one of the two who gave me a phone number. Coincidentally, it was the second boy who he came with whose parents had also given me their numbers.
Teens in the room hurry (hoping to get it all FIGURED OUT) and call big brother to pick passed out kid up from our home-
Okay, so the purpose of this story is NOT to tell you about a bunch of naughty kids- if what you have taken from this story so far, I suggest you go back and read it again- with this in mind-
THIS IS NOT A STORY OF NAUGHTY, WILD, OUT OF CONTROL KIDS!
This is a warning to mommies and daddies EVERYWHERE;
No matter what social circle you run with, or who your kids run with. No matter if you are a church goer or a non-believer. I don’t care if your kid is up to be the next Valedictorian, class president or last one picked for the team! You are not exempt from knowing this wild and crazy world we live in. Know it, understand it and live in it- because YOUR KIDS LIVE IN IT! I’m not an alarmist, I’m not a pessimist; if you know anything at all about me, I am actually a pretty lenient, trusting, “teach the kids proper principles and let them govern themselves” type of mama! BUT, I live in a world where girls get raped by people they KNOW and TRUST, tween age kids experiment with drugs and alcohol, teens escape the pressures that are being put on them at increasingly high rates and drugs that can kill our babies are LEGALLY entering our country faster than officials can stop them!
Sam I am, this is the world we live in and it ain’t getting prettier with those rose colored blinders we have on-
I had the exact same conversation with each of the 3 parents who called-
“My son/daughter is so mad/embarrassed that I am calling you, but I just really can’t be too careful about supervision.”
“The only way I would approve them coming is if I got to talk to you first”
“I’m glad you do the same thing, because my son/daughter is convinced I am the ONLY parent who calls to talk to the parents or walks them up to the door…”
3 out of 30 people! That is 10% of the kids’ parents CHECKED to make sure a parent was going to be home!! WHY???
I am not a pessimist; I am not an alarmist! Actually, if anything, I am a pretty relaxed mom who lives by the basic rule, “teach them correct principles and let them govern themselves”, but I do live in the real world AND to be honest, you need to live here too, because I hate to break it to you, but this is the world your kiddos live in:
We live in a world where girls are being raped by their peers, 12 & 13 year old kids are having sex, tween aged children are drinking and smoking, teenagers are so overwhelmed by the demands of perfection that they self medicate constantly, drugs are entering our country legally faster than authorities can track them down, it is easier to find marijuana than alcohol, kids are home alone more than they are with their parents, middle school kids are taking their own lives because they see no hope and high school kids open fire on classrooms…
So let’s get busy-
Talk to your kids OFTEN- what do they like, what scares them, worries them, freaks them out
Know the same things about their friends
HUG them often & do NOT let them hole up in their room ALL the time. They can’t feel your love if they can’t even see you & you can’t chit chat with them if they have their door closed and plugs in their ears
Know what is going on at the school they go to
What kinds of choices are they and their friends making?
LOVE them & set high expectations for what they can become- kids will reach the highest point that the adults in their lives help them believe they can reach
When you are home, be home- SLOW DOWN a little, it’s okay- life will go on
Meet with your kids one on one frequently- I promise if you don’t open the lines of communication early, they WON’T be open when you need them most
And for heaven’s sake, know the parents where your kids are hanging out. Get phone numbers, talk to them, invite them to your house- remember the good ‘ole days when we could look up the phone number of our children’s friends if we needed to? Be honest, when was the last time you even used a phone book?
And remember- you are NOT here to be the coolest and most popular parent. You are here to get your kids safely to wherever it is they are going- and to get there safely. Your kids might be embarrassed that you are the only one who calls to chat with the other parents- but you’ll be grateful when you get the call that there is a problem rather than the knock on the door by the suited up police officer!
That much, mom & dad, I can guarantee!
Now go out and give someone a hug, because I guarantee there is someone who needs it.