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Posts Tagged ‘growing up’

My grandson put a screwdriver through his lower lip yesterday. Through the lip and into his gum.  My stomach turned over just hearing about it.

“Not to worry” said My Daughter The Pediatric Nurse Practitioner.  “He’s okay now and it’s all good.  Could have been his eye.”

This is a woman who is very, very careful with her kids.  The kids are priority one for their parents. They are rigorously home schooled, the kind and amount of TV they can watch is decided by their parents, and their internet accounts are closely monitored.  The family attends church together.  Their parents spend lots of time with the kids and they know exactly with whom their kids are supposed to be spending time when they’re away from home.

But of course none of this can keep you from getting a screwdriver through your lip if you’re a teenaged boy and messing around with your friends.

And kids can run into things even worse than screwdrivers, no matter how carefully you parent them.  Several of my friends have granddaughters who have gotten pregnant and are now raising their babies by themselves, or with  help from their parents and grandparents.  And in at least two cases, friends’ children have become involved in what have turned out to be very toxic and life-altering relationships.

Sometimes in spite of all the parents can do, kids get involved in drugs or take paths that lead them to destructive lifestyles.  They become enamored of petty (or worse) crimes and end up in jail.  They drive drunk and end up in the morgue.

Things didn’t seem so complicated when my kids were growing up.  There was all the usual teenaged angst, of course, and they made some choices that nearly drove me wild.  I worried when they were out late at night and agonized over some of the paths they took.  But it was a very different world that they inhabited in the ’70s and ’80s, and that world didn’t seem fraught with nearly the temptations and opportunities for self destruction faced by today’s kids.

And of course in the end, young people will do what they will do.  It’s always been that way, even when I was a kid.  But I pray daily for the young people in my life that they will make good choices and resist temptations.  That they will grow up healthy and strong and the kind of people their parents are hoping they will be. And that they won’t run with screwdrivers.

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