Thursday, March 28, 2013

Up Close

I don't watch the news. I know bad things happen. I don't need a daily reminder of it.

I see snippets of what is going on in my community on online new sites and I listen to talk radio so I know what is happening in my community.

Wanna know how I can stand to read all sorts of stories about vampires, werewolves and zombies? Because to me, real life is way scarier than fiction.

This whole Steubenville rape has been weighing on me. It has made my heart heavy.

My heart breaks for the victim, for her parents, for the community and everyone involved.

Recently, I read that the victim had received death threats online and people have been saying she deserved it.

Why were these kids not reigned in before this? Why are people blaming the victim? How does it get to this point?

As a parent of two boys, I want to teach them how to respect women. I want them to respect themselves. I want them to respect others. I want them to do the right thing. I want them to be compassionate people who try to help those when they need it.

But how do I do it? These kids don't come with instruction manuals. (If they do and someone forgot to give me one as I was leaving the hospital after delivery, I will be SO hacked off.)

Heaven knows I am far from perfect. (Whew! I know that was a lot to take in. Do you need a minute?) I can be anxious, impatient and often am thinking of what to say next instead of listening.

There will be so many unplanned obstacles in their lives. They will be influenced by their friends, the media and a variety of other sources. There will be times when they will be filled with uncertainty as to which is the right choice to make.

What's a parent to do?

Well, I'm not sure.

But, I'll tell you what I am sure of. I am sure that I love my boys more than anything in this world. I am sure that I will remind them daily of how much I love them and how proud I am of them. I am going to teach them values that will help shape them into God loving, compassionate, kind, honest, intelligent, hardworking men.

I will take an active role in my kids lives. I will be a constant, dependable presence in their lives. I will be be available when they have questions or doubts. I will be there for a cuddle or a hug when they have hurts or uncertainties. I will make sure we have an open line of communication and reassure them that they can talk to me about anything.

Pastor Rick Warren said, “You can impress people from a distance, but you can only impact them from up close!”

So, while I am not one hundred percent sure, I feel pretty good about it. I am going to take it one day at a time. I am going to be there for my kids - UP CLOSE.

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