(Note: This blog was written over a week and a half ago, and I forgot to hit publish. It seems more fitting that I find this out today and more appropriate that it gets published now.)
That's what my 16 year old son said to me, "You worry to much!". He was referring to himself and his siblings. They complain I never let them go out, never let them hang out with friends and they honestly just don't understand why I don't want them wandering around neighborhoods or parks.
Here are some statistics for OUR neighborhood. There are 29 'registered' sexual offenders in a one mile radius of my house and 125 offenders in a 5 mile radius. They don't get this? One is more than enough to make my skin crawl, this many is ridiculous. I stress from the time they walk to their bus stop until I can breathe a sigh of relief when they get home. Bad people exist in the world and I know I am not prepared for them, so I definitely know my teens aren't either, no matter how 'bad' they think they are!
Times are different from when I was a child/teenager. My parents worried about underage drinking and pot. I have to worry about drinking, pot, ecstasy, cocaine (yes, it was around in the 80s but I have never to this day seen cocaine with my own eyes!), huffing, meth, pain killers, crack and a whole lot more I know I am forgetting. I did do underage drinking and I know at some point they will as well, I just pray they never touch the other stuff listed. They wonder why I worry? How about 4 gunshots in my neighborhood over a 3 day period, 1 one night and 3 another. I live in a tiny town (we aren't even considered a city, as we've never been incorporated as one, we, last I knew, were considered a village) that has really bottomed out as a nice place. It's drug haven. It's a retirement town, but why people would want to retire to this hell hole is beyond me! I want out. I don't want my baby raised in this mecca of pill-pushing, child-molesting, gun shooting idiots.
Don't EVER tell a mother to not worry. It's our God given right from the time we first learn we are pregnant until we take our last breath. Yes, I will be worrying about you when you are on your own, married and with your own children making you crazy. I bestow the parental curse upon your heads: May you spawn children that are exactly like you!
When you hear them tell you to 'not worry', maybe, just maybe, my words will click in that head of yours. This world is NO LONGER SAFE and it getting much, much worse.
I love you, you are my babies and it's my job to protect you. I'm sorry, the words 'over-protective' aren't in my vocabulary, I don't understand them. Stop using them. I will shield you when I can from what can or will harm you and pray when I am not their to do so.
Stop asking about certain things, you are not going to do them, period. I won't give an inch if I feel your safety is compromised in any way. I could never imagine, nor do I want to attempt to imagine, every losing one of you.
This was written before the horrific act on 12-14-2012. I was gutted, horrified, and really, really needed my children home that day. It could happen any where at any time. I wish I had the solution so I could sleep better at night knowing my children are safe at their school, but I don't. It's the one place we count on to be semi-safe for them, especially at the elementary age. This has made me pause and contemplate home schooling my youngest. I am just not sure I want to deny her the privilege of socializing with her peers.
I swear if I hear that I worry too much again pour from their teen lips, I am going to rip them right off.
Don't worry, I am pretty sure they grow back, like Daffy Duck's bill, or something!
Hug your kids, tell them you love them, worry about them. Never take for granted one second with them, for tragedies occur all the time.
Pray for those families, every person in Newtown, because they ALL were affected, WE all were affected. This will weigh on my brain for a very long time. This will affect how I raise my kids forever.
I fear we have only begun to see what ugliness this world has in store for us.