I was watching the evening news last night and the horrific story of the shooting in Cleveland was on, of course. I saw the photos of the boy, the shooter, and the photos of his now twinless sister, and such deep sadness went through me. He was only fourteen. Only fourteen. He had no idea what he was doing---yes, he knew what he was doing was wrong, no doubt about it. But he was only FOURTEEN. And now he is dead. And so many others could be. These stories are becoming so normal, so prevalent in our society, that the following story on the news was how to save yourself in a school shooting. That speaks volumes.
After the news I tried to explain to H that THIS IS THE REASON THAT ALL MY KIDS CAN CALL ME ANYTIME, DAY OR NIGHT, WITH ANYTHING, LARGE OR SMALL. I do believe that he thought it was the pain medication talking, but there was a connection, at least in my head....let my try to explain: My kids have always known that they could wake me at any hour of the night to talk about anything, and it wasn't a problem. And they did it frequently. I would get up and we would talk, I would listen, and cry with them or hold them or maybe lecture them if needed, but usually if that was the case, I would hold it until morning....and to this day, each of them knows they are welcome to call at any hour. It is OKAY. Everyone thinks this is insane, except me. But I know that problems occur at night. The big ones, anyway. To the young. They get big and dramatic, and cause all kinds of stinkin' thinkin'. Now, there is nothing wrong with any of my kids, mentally. Not one of them are mentally challenged, in any way, but that has nothing to do with any of it. When your heart aches, or your life has come crashing down on top of you, in the night is when all things get blown out of proportion. And without a rational, calm person to help keep things in perspective, things really can get out of hand. Do I think that any one of my kids would go out and start shooting up some random place? Ummm no. But the news is full of bad decisions, people that didn't know what the consequences would be, didn't think things all the way through, because the young never do. I don't necessarily think that any of them would DO anything that would be any kind of news worthy at all. But I also don't see the need to make the kind of stupid mistakes that perhaps you and I have made, and now cost so much...perhaps in the terms of driving when we shouldn't have after drinking too much, going "after" someone that wants your boyfriend/girlfriend, too...things that we used to do that might have gotten our asses kicked that now will land their butts in jail and ruin their financial futures and hopes for "good" employment later...things are not the same as they were when I was young. There are really big consequences for things these days that I pulled one too many times when I was young. I have thought about this many times and I do worry that I am trying to coddle my kids. Perhaps there is some truth in that. But what I am doing is saying, "don't be stupid....if you need to talk, call me". That's all. If I had had that available to me, I probably wouldn't have done some of the really dumb things I did. Does that prevent my kids from doing all the stupid stuff? NO. But they do call me when they need to talk. And no matter how busy I am at work, or how asleep I am, or what I am doing, they come first when the shit has hit the fan. And life seems to create shit hitting the proverbial fan...frequently. At least in the area of love, to my kids anyway. Do you remember those days? Lord, how did we live through it?
I don't know if I would have called my mom back then, if she would have wanted me to. What I mean is, I don't know if I could have been honest with her, even if she would have wanted to be bothered. And to tell her the truth? I don't know....I don't think I could have. Not that I was doing anything that bad, but you know- it was my MOM. After I was married I could tell her my problems, in the daylight, when she was in the mood, and she was helpful. My kids have NO trouble telling me how it really is. And that can be hard. Seriously. You have to be a big person to admit things such as what they do, and even bigger to hear them. But it works for us.
I suppose this post will be hard for you all to understand, too. Everyone in my life says things to my like "you shouldn't let them run you like that......you need your sleep, why do they bother you in the night......when are they going to grow up......"
I honestly do believe that one day, they will grow up and the calls will stop, at least the ones in the night. I still ask my Mom's advice on things from time to time, and I suppose they will too, as they get older. But I will be here for them as long as they need me, at any hour. I still can't help but wonder when I see tragedies on the news, if the kids that were so obviously crying for help were getting it. I know those kids were having trouble way beyond a simple call in the night, or going to the parents door and knocking and waking them, but maybe it could have started there. This world is so hard on kids. A thousand fold harder than it was on my generation, and I thought it was rough. I brought them into this world, and i will help them through it. It is NOT my intention to baby them, and I hope that is not what I do. I suppose everyone has their own way of doing things, viewing things. This is my way. Out.