Geeze! What a week. I feel like I’ve cried everyday while watching the news (okay, I have) and it’s only Wednesday. So many stories have left me reeling and I can’t shake all of the emotions brought on by all of this coverage that relates, somehow, to parenting. I’ve got to give my perspective on a few.
First, Davion Only. For those of you who haven’t heard, Davion Only is a 15 year old boy who has been in the foster care system since he was born. His mother was in prison and he recently learned that she has died. This revelation caused him to stand up in front of the congregation at his church and ask for a family.
“I’ll take anyone,” Davion said. “Old or young, dad or mom, black, white, purple. I don’t care. And I would be really appreciative. The best I could be.”
Seriously. My heart broke into pieces for this boy. While most 15 year olds are complaining about their parents, whining for the new iPhone and thinking about what kind of car they’ll get for their next birthday, he just wants a family to love. If you missed his interview on The View, watch it now! Our world would be a different place if more kids were like Davion.
I guess that brings me to the next story that has my attention this week. The Texas high school football game “bullying” charges. Fair warning, this one has me fired up so I can’t be held responsible for my language. Apparently, Friday night’s game between two teams ending with a score of 91 – 0 has prompted a parent or two (I’ve heard different reports) from the losing team to file an official complaint within the school district citing that the opposing coaching staff “bullied” their team by running up the score. First of all, I can’t even use the word “bully” without gagging (hence the quotation marks). It is now no more than a buzz word used to make oneself feel better about their current situation. It’s pathetic because there are real kids being tortured in schools all across the country but quite frankly, I hold no stock in anyone who claims to be bullied anymore because of the constant misuse of the word. Secondly, the parent(s) who is claiming that Junior losing badly is the equivalent of Junior being bullied is clearly just a douche bag. Everyone knows that it sucks to lose but I’m guessing that Junior could probably use having his ass handed to him from time to time. Look, I get that it’s in poor taste to run up the score and I’m not doubting that the boys from the losing team went home upset but that’s a part of competition. Let your kids fight their own battles, lose and hurt. It builds character and resilience which is obviously lacking in our society right now.
I’m not going to say much about the next story because it’s a horrific tragedy that is happening far too often and I’m sick of hearing and talking about it, but the Nevada middle school shooting is just one more disgusting blip in our country’s issue with gun violence and irresponsibility. I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing when I, just a 7th grader, watched in horror as images from Columbine High School flooded every television station with limited details as to what had happened. Once details emerged I was even more horrified as I thought about my own mother who still wasn’t home from her job as a high school teacher. Similarly, I will never forget where I was or what I was feeling as I sat stunned watching as much as I could about the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary less than a year ago. As a parent to children the same age as the babies who were taken on that day, I lost a teeny tiny piece of my heart thinking about the unimaginable actually happening. It has to stop. The violence, the heart ache, the bickering about rights. Parents need to be accountable for their personal belongings and for their children. Laws need to be made in order to make sure that parents are responsible for the actions of their children. If your kid takes your gun to school and shoots someone, YOU should be arrested. YOU are an accomplice by supplying a child/criminal/mentally ill person with a weapon whether it’s indirectly or not.
I’ll wrap this up on a positive note. If you haven’t seen this clip, be prepared to cry while you smile so big your cheeks hurt. How sweet is the father who was so excited and proud of his boy for getting a “C” in math. “You are set for life now.” This is good parenting.
Here’s to hoping for more Davions and good dads for the second half of the week.