Two Teens And Their Mama: Be Brave And Parent A Teenager

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Be Brave And Parent A Teenager


This past weekend, a local teenage girl was killed in a terrible accident.  The weather on Saturday was sunny and unseasonably warm.  A group of kids were swimming in the river, and walking up onto the trestle to jump into the water. They didn't hear the train coming until it was almost upon them.  Two boys jumped in time, but Kristi was not so lucky, and was hit by the locomotive.

For her parents, family, and friends, it's tragic and devastating.  While I didn't know Kristi personally, I have friends who did, and they tell me she was a wonderful young lady.  Smart, kind and athletically gifted.  She was due to graduate high school in a few weeks, and attend a local university in the fall on a track scholarship.  Now, instead of getting ready for her graduation party, Kristi's parents are planning a funeral.  I can't even imagine their heartbreak.

My older son lost a friend to a car accident during his junior year of high school. Three boys were headed to the store before cross country practice.  They were driving too fast and decided to "jump" the car over a hump on a nearby road. The driver lost control and hit a tree.  Juan was killed instantly, and his two passengers were seriously injured.  All great boys, who made a bad decision.

As a parent of teenagers, these events are terrifying.  It reminds us that this could happen to any one of our kids.  No matter what we teach them, and how smart or responsible they are, everyone makes mistakes.  Or follows an impulse.  Most of the time it turns out fine.  But every once in a while, the car spins out of control, someone makes a wrong turn, or the train appears.  Even though our kids are our precious angels, they're also.....human.



Being a parent requires a tremendous amount of strength, hope and faith. Parenting teens takes it to a whole new level.  Letting them learn to drive. Or go out into the dangerous world without you.  Find their own friends.  Make mistakes.  All you can do as they walk out the door is say a prayer that they'll be okay.  That they won't follow that impulse, or make that bad decision.

Right now, my younger son is somewhere practicing dance choreography with a group of kids for an end of the year assembly.  As he headed out, he excitedly told me that he's learning to do a back flip for the routine.  My heart skipped a beat, and my first inclination was to tell him no.  But I stopped myself, took a deep breath, and told him to be careful.  As hard as it is, I have to let him do back flips.  And trust me, it's hard.

Friends whose kids are older tell me it gets easier once they're away at college. Out of sight, out of mind, or something like that.  I'm dubious, but I'll be finding out soon enough.

In the meantime, I'll keep letting my heart go wandering around, and be thankful when it returns home each night.

18 comments:

  1. Lana... this made me cry... how sad for that family. I know what you mean though, raising teens is very scary... I know I didn't always make good choices myself either and I know I was lucky and blessed nothing awful happened. Lots of prayers need to be said and you have to let them make some choices of their own, no matter how scary it is... xox

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It definitely requires lots of praying when you have kids, no matter what age they are!

      Delete
  2. it always seems to be more and more accidents start happening right around graduation time. It is such a tragic loss. I can't imagine how they are dealing with it. My daughter left yesterday to spend a couple of days with her best friend 400 miles away. She stopped here on her way out of town, just her and both babies, and I have been worried to death. I just kept thinking my whole life was in that one little car. She made it fine but I won't be happy until she is back home safe and sound. Things happen so quickly. I'm so sorry your town is going through another tragedy on the heels of healing from the first one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It does seem like these tragedies happen more once spring/summer comes. Hope your daughter and grand babies had a safe trip!

      Delete
  3. Such a tragedy...
    During my son's graduation, the very last people to walk across the stage were the parents of a student that has just passed away... :-(
    Darlene
    http://whosaprettygirl.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can't even imagine. That must have been so sad - but what a lovely gesture.

      Delete
  4. Ugh. So sad. This is my biggest fear for my kids growing up.

    ReplyDelete
  5. There are so many tragedies but also so many "lucky escapes" I am very grateful that both of mine made it thru the teen years relatively unscathed - although our son had a horrible car accident at about 20 but walked away from it with only a scratch. It is easier when they are away because you stop worrying every time you hear a police siren but you still think about them a lot - one of the joys of motherhood!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My mom is visiting, and even though I'm 48, she said she still worries about me all the time!

      Delete
  6. That is such a tragedy! My heart goes out to that family! I can't even imagine what they are going through. It is so hard to be a parent sometimes but your right, you have to let them make their own choices and hope they make the right ones.

    Jill
    Doused In Pink

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's one of the hardest parts of parenting, for sure.

      Delete
  7. How sad and tragic. I always feel when a teenager dies from an accident that a split second could have changed their fate.
    Good luck with the back flips!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's true, Haralee - just one different decision and things turn out differently.

      Delete
  8. That terrible car accident sounds like one my sister's high school friends were involved in only months before graduation. I remember feeling invincible then, and clearly we weren't.
    Lots of love to all families involved.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Teenagers definitely feel invincible - but parents know better - which is why it's so hard!

      Delete
  9. I have been sad for Kristi's family all weekend thinking about this post. I 've always said that when I'm not with my kids it is like I'm missing an appendage - but you are right, it really is my heart that has wandered off. This story is going to stick with me a long time Lana.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If only we could lock them up in their rooms forever :)!

      Delete

Reading your comments is one of the best parts of blogging! I read and appreciate them all!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...