My friend Liz is growing two incredible sons into maturity. My friends Jane and Ron have raised two great daughters. My wife and I have two really good girls — each special and wonderful in their own way. My children know other good kids and we know their parents. George and Lourdes are raising a daughter who plays hockey and sings and is smart and. Derek and Dawn are raising two great girls. Rick has raised 3 great kids, whom he is proud of. Jane and her partner have 3 great kids. The list goes on. Ron has 2 and Bob has 1 and Eric and Evelyn have two brilliant incredible kids. Stephanie has 2 great kids. Marilyn and Paul have raised great children who are now raising their own great children.
For years now, I have gone to work and seen children whose lives are a mess, or for whom safe behavior was maybe 1 day per month. I don’t blame those kids for their issues, though I often blame their parents who have lived horrible lives as well. Sometimes biology is way off, sometimes the environment does it, sometimes both secure mental illness in place. I also, of course, know thugs and criminals and anti-social environments all of whom I don’t live with.
And then I come home, and see my own children or a friend’s child and I don’t know how we got so lucky. I know all of my friends have tried to be decent parents, and raise decent, kind, loving children. I also, from my work, know that that isn’t always enough. Lots of good parents have messed up kids. Honestly, sometimes I think, “there but for the grace of God, go I”.
And yet, in a world of politics and hatred, of people who seem to prefer ignorance and want to teach their children the same, none of my friends do. I am happy to have them over to the house, happy to see how incredible the world will be when our children run it — and they will run it. The artist, the educator, the writer, the teacher, the social worker, the actor, the singer, the straight out good parent, perhaps a pastor or two. Who knows?
I know the press portrays the juvenile delinquent as the norm, and I don’t know if it’s true or not. I may be the wrong person to ask. For no particularly good reason today, I just want to counter that narrative with all the experiences I have with incredible kids. If your a parent I know, you did okay for yourself and for all of us.
Resisting with Peace,