Thursday night, 10pm
Parenting my teens is getting dull.
Sure, there are struggles. The constant worry that I’m doing too much for them and they’ll never become functional adults. The constant worry that I’m doing too little for them and they’ll never become functional adults (I still haven’t determined the correct number of times a week a responsible parent should check the parent portal to hell). The ever-present frustration over the ever-present attitude. The smells. The messes. The ambivalence about everything, contrasted by having EXTREMELY STRONG FEELINGS about everything. The wondering if my kid will grow up to be a Republican since he talked me into letting him quit French horn lessons so he could be on the golf team. The concern that soccer and track, even though she loves both, might be too much for her developing body (is it normal to constantly have aches and pains, because something always hurts-and I have no earthly idea what to do about it).
Really, though, this gig is easy. I’ve got it totally under control. Everything is fine here. It’s too easy, really.
So THANK GOD for the rumored threat of a school shooting at their middle school/high school campus tomorrow, because I really need to mix things up. Throw a little spice into life. The principals of both schools and the superintendent have all sent emails informing us that, despite the rumors, administrators have worked with local law enforcement to determine there is no ‘credible threat.’
Do I believe them?
Well, yes. I do.
I don’t know of any real precedent of a shooter telling everyone when he/she’s going to show up. It doesn’t make much sense, does it? Why give people a head’s up if you’re trying to inflict mass casualties?
In my head, I’m not concerned.
Some other part of my being, though, is wondering if I shouldn’t just err on the side of caution and keep my babies at home. What’s one day?
It’s nothing, right? But this feels like a slippery slope. I don’t want to live a life dictated by fear. And there’s no credible threat. My kids are going to school tomorrow, damn it!
Or not. My daughter just wrote a will. It was mostly a joke. Primarily an insurance policy that I would not get her wireless headphones should she not make it home tomorrow. Then she practiced ‘laying in a coffin.’
She’s thirteen. She’s dramatic. And she wants to sleep in tomorrow. These are the bulk of what’s behind the scenes of the evening.
And yet, I also know there is an element of fear she’s dealing with. I know it because she asked about the possibility of being homeschooled after Parkland. The request lacked her usual sarcasm/drama/teenager vibe. It was a legitimate inquiry into the feasibility of being homeschooled. She hates me (because she’s 13) and loves school (because she’s super social). And yet some part of her wanted to be homeschooled. By me.
Friday morning, 9:30am
I have one kid at school (he felt he needed to be in government class to review for next week’s test), and another one at home. She and I are enjoying a leisurely morning, getting ready to travel for her soccer tournament this afternoon. Straight ahead.
So, I want to end this post with a thank you.
Thank you, America, for being the only country in the world where these threats, credible or not, can strike fear into children and parents. Thank you for the privilege, because parents of teens really don’t have enough to worry about. Thank you for these choppy waters to build our character. Because, really, the sailing would otherwise be entirely too smooth and easy. Who would want that?