Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Growing up is tough stuff

It's not easy growing up, and it's not easy watching your kids do it. Worst of all are the life lessons that really seem unfair. In the last year or so, we've seen our children go through some rough ones.

They've reached an age where there are new options open to them and their friends which lead to some hard choices to make. There have been good friends that chose to experiment with drugs. When my kids chose not to be a part of that, the friend felt like they weren't being understood or supported so ended the friendship. If that wasn't enough, the other party felt the need to be ugly about my kids at school and to other people. I'm proud of the choices that my kids made and that they didn't participate in the gossiping and name calling, but I sure hate to see them hurt over losing the friendships.

There have also been some hard lessons learned about the internet, texting, how easily things can be misunderstood, and what you 'put out there.' One of those lessons ended with a trip to the Sheriff's office. Wasn't fun to go through, but a valuable lesson was learned. One that I hope will stay with them for life.

They've seen how the actions of one person can so deeply hurt another. And they've all felt it too. They've had their grandparents (not the ones they spent time with this summer) and an aunt make the decision to cut all ties with them, through no fault of their own. Adults, who have decided that they are upset with their father and I, and chose to punish the children. How do you explain something like that when you don't really understand it yourself? Fortunately they have other grandparents, aunts, and uncles that love them unconditionally.

As a parent, I want to shield them from all of this and the hurt that comes with it. But I can't. They have to learn these things about life and about people. Not everyone in your life can be trusted. Not everyone that claims to be your friend really is. Not everyone will care about your feelings. And sometimes, even when you do the right thing, it will still feel like you're being punished. All I can do is try my best to explain things, be there to support them, and let them know they are loved.

Through it all, though, they've handled it wonderfully. Much more maturely than their 15 years. It's brought them closer together as siblings. They've learned to defend each other and to support each other. We're very proud of them and their choices.

It's always easier in the summer with no school drama, when they don't have to see anyone they don't want to. But, they're back in school now. I wonder what the chances are that this year will be drama free......

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