Friday, March 05, 2010

Doom and Gloom

What was I going to say? I'm tired. But this blog won't write itself. Neither will my 116 project. What was I going to say? Oh yeah. I'm reading this book. The first story in the book is about a family living on streets and how the parents get the kids to sniff glue so they won't be hungry (and somehow he keeps it lighthearted). I woke up in the middle of the night from a dead sleep and remembered why it hit me so hard.

In 2001, I was living in Estonia and a bunch of us went on a trip to Russia. We were taking the subway to somewhere in Moscow and I remember we got off the train, went through the turnstiles or whatever, and there I saw this group of kids, maybe ranging in ages from six to twelve, kind of lying in a heap against the wall, completely high on glue. I remember locking eyes with one and the look... that look... it's creepy when you see it in an adult. It's soul-wrenching when you see it in a kid, that vacant, stoned look. I remember thinking, how could a parent, any parent, let their little kid end up like this? I think the book is helping me understand a little better. Even if one is Africa and one is Russia. Poverty is poverty.

And here's where I make a totally irrational leap in topics to admit that my child scares me a little. Oh, he's beautiful and funny and cuddly and loving and I'm enraptured with him. But a part of me knows that this kid has the power to break my heart by breaking himself. I often think about how that could happen. He could destroy himself and I may not be able to stop him.

Oh, I know, holy cow, no wonder I was on pills. And what's the use of even thinking like that? Enjoy the moment, etc., etc.. It could go the other way, anyhow, right? He could grow up, become amazing and support his parents in the manner to which they'd both very much like to become accustomed.

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Anonymous Anonymous ~ 9:20 AM

Monica..... what you are feeling is perfectly normal..... We all have that worry when we have kids... All we can do is bring them up the best way we know how, give them what they need materially and emotionally; teach them right from wrong, and hope for the best...most of the time we are lucky, and we have wonderful, supportive, adult kids... Rick and I have been very lucky with our kids, and the partners that they picked..... (by the way.... we all refuse to let Mac take the wrong path).
Love Mom A  

Blogger Momma Pants ~ 9:26 AM

In my grade 10 English class, our theme is Challenges and as of late, we have been looking at substance abuse. We've watched a couple videos about the experiences of addicts. I actually stopped one at one point, on the still frame of a young woman who was a complete mess-- missing teeth, open scabs, tweaking-- and I said, "How many of you plan to have kids?" The majority of them put up their hands. "How many of you imagine this kind of future for your child." Silence. "This girl is someone's daughter-- she has baby pictures like this (pointing to a pic of N on my desk) in someone's photo albums. I think sometimes you think we adults take the issue of drugs too seriously and preach too much about it, trying to scare you. We do that because we're terrified that this is what is going to happen to you. The difference between young adults and parents is that young adults think bad things only happen to other people. Parents imagine every worst case scenario befalling their child. Reality falls somewhere in between."
I had to start the video again because I was on the verge of tears imagining Norah on Vancouver's downtown east side. You're not alone in those kinds of worries.  

Anonymous Anonymous ~ 10:26 AM

After reading what Momma Pants had to say, I need to add that a little education goes a long way.... They may think that you are nuts when you are showing them the pitfalls of drugs and alcohol, but hopefully they will remember when they need to.
Mom A  

Anonymous Anonymous ~ 10:54 AM

Now you can feel the anguish that most parents feel. So many people are swift to judge when someones kid go to the dark side. Believe me it is only one desision or wrong choice that can change the path of anyone. I have always said that parenting is like a bull ride, you do the best you can and hang on,the outcome is always in doubt. and never judge any one else until you have walked in their shoes.  

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