Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Life Lessons

Sometimes being a parent is terrifying. Well, more than just sometimes. But on this particular day, it was definitely terrifying.

I know that you cannot be with your children at all times. You do your best as a parent to teach your children right from wrong, and how to make good decisions. And you hope that when they encounter difficult situations, that you have taught them well enough to make the correct decisions. I surely hope what I've done is truly enough, but all the same, I am using recent events as a teaching point.

Over the past few weeks, several teenagers/young adults on spring break in Panama City, FL have died from falling off hotel balconies. One young man in particular caught my attention. He had everything going for him. He was an upstanding young man, well liked in his school and community. He had fantastic grades, and a full scholarship to a prestigious University. And yet his life ended tragically early.

Now I understand that kids in High School drink. And while I hope that mine will not, I know that they will be presented with opportunities to drink, and I hope (and pray) that I have prepared them with the tools they need to handle themselves appropriately in these situations.

So while in the car over the weekend, I used the recent events as a teaching moment. I explained to them how important it is to make good decisions. How this young man had some much going for him, and that he made a bad decision which ended in tragedy. And how dangerous it is to drink while underage, because an underage person just does not understand how much alcohol effects their behavior, and alters their judgement. Overall, I think it was a very productive discussion. I think at this point in their lives they have surrounded themselves with good friend, and hopefully their friend's parents are instilling the same values in them. But at least I know that I am doing all I can to prepare my children for the obstacles that lie ahead!

I am still very much bothered by these deaths. I cannot imagine, as a parent, losing a child in such a way. More accurately, losing a child in ANY way, is absolutely unthinkable, but these deaths are such a tragedy to me.

God bless this young man, and may his soul rest in peace.


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