Grandma’s van had the back window “busted” (as Little Miss likes to say it) today, as the middle schoolers in her neighborhood walked home. When she heard the pop, she came outside and the kids scattered like thieves. No one took responsibility. Other kids lied about the rock thrower’s name to throw Grandma off. When she got to the school to file a report, a witness called in to report it but wouldn’t give her name- said she didn’t want her daughter dragged into it.
OMG. Where to even begin. Are these the kids that we want to raise?!
And the parent that wouldn’t leave her name, for her daughter’s social comfort- that’s got to be the most chicken sh*t thing I’ve heard. If we are not going to model good behavior for for our children, strive to raise good grown ups, what the hell are we even here for? There’s a lot of good reasons why our children stay with us until they are far past physical maturity- if our job was to do nothing, we’d spawn in the river.
I have said for many years that my mommy jobs are only 2– 1) keep my children safe from harm and 2) give them the skills, resources, and lessons to grow into great grown ups. Should my kids ever be the ones throwing rocks (I am realistic…it happens), I will know I have been successful when they stand their ground and take responsibility for what they’ve done. When they apologize, and own the consequences to make it right. When they hold their head high while they do it, knowing that its not the easy thing to do– it’s the RIGHT think to do. Isn’t that what we should expect our children to do? So why the hell don’t (the collective) we?
My kids are going to throw their own kind of rocks- and I can only hope the ripples make a difference against the social apathy I encountered today. My kids are going to know that doing the right thing is often uncomfortable -and be ready and willing to do so anyway. They will have the moral compass and other tools they need to handle their own fear and doubt, so that they can forge ahead despite those around them. They will trust themselves in those situations, because they will have practiced with those tools many many times before- on little things and big things, starting at home where failure is beautifully safe. They will have people who they can turn to for guidance and support, when things get murky or when an adult guide is needed.
I will not relinquish my responsibilities to those around my children- I will not allow the culture that created the kids we encountered today to decide the values of our future. I also realize that I may have documented how I am going to make my children’s childhood significantly more challenging than the experiences of their peers. I don’t care- I’ll take ownership of that with them as well. I am still convinced it’s possible to raise amazing grownups, and will not stop until proven otherwise.
It’s my job.