In the book of life, the answers aren't in the back. -Charlie Brown
I know two families who have had terrible, tragic losses over the past two weeks. They were very different circumstances, but both involved a son. My heart aches for them.
One of the boys grew up with Kiddo. They were in school together all through kindergarten and elementary school. I called Kiddo to tell him the awful news. We had a sweet talk. Well, I did the talking, but he listened. I just needed to tell him how much I love him and that no matter how fractious our relationship is these days, my love for him remains constant.
I try to talk to him about the really important stuff from time to time. Usually, these talks are triggered by some sort of event involving a boy or young man. I remember when the Duke Lacrosse debacle happened. The lesson I wanted Kiddo to learn was that even though those college boys were ultimately exonerated, and they did nothing illegal, they were guilty of placing themselves in a dangerous situation, and worse than that, of sexually exploiting women. They lost a year of their lives in the maelstrom of publicity surrounding the case.
I pontificated excessively about how men who consider strippers integral to a great party cannot possibly have a healthy respect for women. And that most strippers are also prostitutes and drug addicts and abused women. So even though, on the surface, they are adults with the ability to make their own choices, it seems terribly wrong to me to perpetuate their misery. And in their desperation, it's not surprising that they would make false allegations about rape in situations in which they could benefit financially. In this case it was false, but I'm sure there are many more times when it's true. I'd guess we don't hear about those as often, because they probably get settled outside the court system.
The thing that saddened me about the Duke Lacrosse team was that I never heard anyone involved say that they had, indeed, made a mistake by placing themselves in such a precarious situation. I wish someone had taken the opportunity to tell other young athletes that it's not cool to hire strippers or prostitutes. Because no matter how much I preached this, it couldn't possibly have had the impact it would have had if those handsome, talented (albeit, misogynistic) young men had owned up to the immorality of their actions and taken the opportunity to help other boys learn from their mistakes.
Believe me, I'm not judging them. I'm sure their lawyers would have shit a brick if they'd taken any ownership of the situation. After they were pronounced innocent (of rape, anyway) though, it seems like that would've been a good opportunity to share some wisdom. If I had been one of the parents, you could be damn sure that Kiddo would have had a prepared statement to convey all this.
I make mistakes all the time. I get lots of practice apologizing. Especially to Kiddo. I think that's important. Parents are imperfect people, too.
Well, I've gone on and on with this. I need to get on with my day. Hopefully, I'll have some funny things to share in my next post. For now, though, I'm finding it very hard to laugh. My heart is still breaking for the two lost boys who are much closer to home.
Welcome to my world!
My life's been crazy since my Daddy moved in with me immediately after my mother's death in October 2010. My one and only kiddo headed to college at Carolina at the end of August. So...I lived on my own, for the first time in my life, for a total of a blissful six weeks. Then, I started the parenting gig with my dad. He's a combination of a grouchy old man, a surly teenager and a temperamental toddler. Needless to say, I get very close to the brink of insanity sometimes. I get through life by finding the humor in difficult circumstances. And for some reason, I wind up in the weirdest situations. I couldn't make this stuff up. So I wind up having lots and lots crazy adventures which make great stories to share with my friends. Writing about my life is so therapeutic. My ramblings range from funny to sad to angry (full of cuss words) to sweet. While my focus is dealing with the trials and tribulations of being a parent to my Daddy, I have lots of random, totally unrelated posts. Whatever's on my mind. I love to make people laugh, and I'm happy to think my readers will get my strange sense of humor. And maybe, people who are in my situation will be encouraged. That's all I can hope for...