Friday, October 18, 2013

Two hard weeks here

All communities have their tragedies, and this month brought two to our town.  First, a student from Newton North High School took her life about two weeks ago; and on Wednesday, a sophomore at Newton South High School was found dead. My friend Lori Berman Gans reflected on these events to her friends in an eloquent post on Facebook.  I think she has it right:
It's been a hard, sad week in Newton. For parents of teens, it's something more as well. High school is a big transition for the kids, but it's a harsh entry to a new reality for us as well: seeing our children suddenly exposed to the the dangers, the fragility of their lives that we’ve spent their entire childhoods trying to protect them from. This is our new reality, and parenting suddenly requires a set of skills that run counter to every instinct. There will be more awful news -- drugs, alcohol, arrests, car accidents, and, God forbid, more losses. As parents, we need, at these moments more than any others, to cling to our babies, to promise them that nothing will ever hurt them, that the magical thinking of their youth still can work if they just stay close, hold our hand and trust in our parental superpowers. We might even convince ourselves. Instead, the best we will do is embarrass them with affection they don’t want, advice they don’t think they need, and trust they may not even fully deserve -- the opportunities to make mistakes if only to prove to them that we’ll be there to help them figure out how to crawl out of whatever holes they dig for themselves and the kick in the pants to get them to do it for themselves. What else can we do? Deep sigh. It’s been a hard, sad week for us all -- but I can’t even begin to imagine the pain those two families are going through, and all the agony yet to come, as they search for answers that may or may not ever be found.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

....and it doesn't stop for the parents even after the kids reach adulthood.