Sunday, September 27, 2015

An Editorial: Not My Child

Many of you who read Exit 55 are parents. Most of you are around children that you care about.

Many of you - many of us - believe our kids are safe and insulated from the evils of the world.

And that's where we make the mistake.

So read this editorial from the Darien Times.

As usual, the writer in question (TWIQ) is spot-on, and while she is specifically writing about Darien, CT, the information can be applied anywhere.  I suppose we can surmise that Darien is an affluent community and, as such, it's easier to acquire narcotics, but the reality is one will get what one wants.

That's the sickness of it all.

In fact, I discussed the editorial with TWIQ and praised her for it. Just another in a long line of excellent writing by her. If there was anything to quarrel with, it was the last line:

"Don't be a friend now, because you want to be a parent for the rest of your life."

It's actually not a quarrel, but it's the conundrum of the life of a single dad.

Specifically, this single dad.

Susan, er, TWIQ is absolutely correct: "Don't be a friend," and indeed I'm not. Sean does know, without question that (commence Darth Vader breathing), "I am your father."

Yet I see him every other weekend (and Wednesday's when I'm available). My friends (and likely, you) know that I worry about him constantly because I don't know the level of details that I want to know.

I know there is bullying at school (that's what he tells me, and I have no reason to doubt him). I know of the other contentious parts of his life. Yet I hear other things either second-hand or well after the fact.

I can't be a helicopter to him. As I once said, I wanted nothing more than to hug him on the day of the Sandy Hook story. I couldn't.

We're finally at the point where we're talking about a smartphone for him, and believe me, the same things that I've enforced with his iPad will carry on. He's a smart kid and is largely reminiscent of his father as I was truly not someone to engage in such activities.  I'm still not.

A man in a deli told him to make sure to stay away from all evils yesterday morning. The man felt that his telling him - as opposed to his father - would have more impact, especially since this guy had just given up smoking, and was a reformed drinker as well. Sean was, as ever, polite if shy.

I trust Sean. I do. We're pals. We're father/son. That doesn't mean there aren't evils.

Therefore, back to the editorial. As TWIQ Whatshername writes:
"Ask questions. Violate privacy. Look at phones. Note changing behavior. This can alert us to a variety of problems, not just drug use."
So true.

No comments: