I made the grievous error of watching the second season of 13 Reasons Why last week (after watching the first season last summer, since my summer kids were talking about it nonstop). While I encourage anyone who works with, knows, raises, co-exists or employs teenagers to watch this series, the premise of the show still makes me terribly sad (I skipped episode 13, google it and you will understand why, a bit too much for me).
Being a kid is so hard, and while I remember having mean kids in my class, who said really thoughtless things, I don’t remember taking too much of it to heart and allowing their words to shape who I was. I was quirky, I loved to shop at goodwill, and raid my mom’s vintage clothing, I was in the band, I worked at Chuck E Cheese, I was active in my church and I loved my family and to laugh. Quite honestly, I was close to my parents and extended family then and still am now, and that guidance shaped the mama and person I am today. While that isn’t the case for so many teenagers, sadly, it certainly was for me.
When talking about life’s difficulties, I always encourage kids to talk to their parents, or, whoever the grown ups are they live with. Some of them are shocked I would even suggest that (we do have your back, mamas and daddies, I promise). I compare them to my own funny kid, telling them that even though they think they’re grown, their parents still see them as Cole size, needing hugs, reassurance and their favorite dinner on a sad day.
Yesterday I had the opportunity to talk to someone whose children I adore. She and her husband have raised two magnificent children, boys I would adore for Cole to emulate. I asked her what their parenting strategy was, and she said they never stopped talking to them, and their friends gave them quite a bit of grief for that, for being so close to their parents, for talking “too much” to them. Certainly there had to be hard times with those brilliant and kind young men when the peer pressure to be cool was strong, but they stuck it out. I pray for the young man Cole will be, that he too, will be strong enough to fight that pressure to be “cool”, and will keep his eyes set on Jesus and what is right.
Here’s to my funny, quirky kid, may he always be bright, love to laugh and love his family, like me (even though he may opt to go to a different counselor in grades 9-12, and I am ok with that 👩🏼👦🏼).
Happy Memorial Day weekend!! We’re off to buy some new soccer cleats today and vacuum the dog hair out of our car 🐶🐶🐶