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Growing Up

I've decided the hardest part of being a parent is the absolute absence of control.  At first, of course, you feel completely overwhelmed by just how much control you have.  Decisions about eating, sleeping, clothing, activities, schools - it can be overwhelming to make every small decision.  But over time, they grow up.  You blink and

BOOM

They're almost 14.
They're thinking about how fun it will be to drive.
They're looking at girls.
They're staying home alone.
They're making choices, choices, choices - not all of which you like very much.

The control was all a cruel illusion.  And now it's gone.

But, what is infinitely worse, is when you see the train wreck coming.  The little signs of trouble ahead.  And all different kinds of trouble.

Perhaps I could be more specific.

There's this boy at church.  Maybe there is more than one, I am not sure.  This boy likes to say things about my son.  Mean things.  Hard things.  But not to my son's face, no.  Behind his back so that people laugh and step away and my son doesn't know why.  What makes this slightly, but not much, better is my son's purity of heart.  He is unfailingly kind.  He doesn't see or hear those mean things, even when they are right in front of his face.

Man alive, it stings my soul.  I can only imagine that light-bulb moment, when my son realizes people are mean.  My heart starts pounding just to think of it.  I am so afraid he will be crushed.  I want to spare this pain.  I would take it myself to spare my son.  I would rather suffer a thousand times than have his heart break once.

But I know heartbreak is human.  And I know my son is not perfect.  He says and does things that are not always so wonderful.

Nevertheless, this mean boy - I want to punch him in the face.

Comments

Heather said…
So sorry Josh has to deal with this. I'm even more sorry he has to deal with this at church, a place he should be loved and accepted. Kids are mean.
Sarah said…
I wish I could say church is a safe haven...growing up in our ward wasn't too bad - nobody was outright mean to me. But I'm sure not everyone felt that way. It's much harder to handle as a parent, I think!
Pat said…
Read one of my favorite books that deals with this: Charlie's Monument. It only takes one hour- although really less, because you only need to read the beginning. Other than that, I'm sure you know it'll be made worse if you intervene. Unless it's outrageous and then I'd go to the bishop. My heart breaks for you and Josh! I was always made fun of, mostly from people at school, but often from church girls and even some of my church leaders. I've always had low self esteem and that sure didn't help. Maybe I'm stronger now because of it? I don't know, but people like that really suck.- Karisa

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