Most parents or should I say almost all parents will proclaim that their children will never do anything wrong or at least wrong in the sense that would get them arrested. These parents will proclaim they have taught their children to be better citizens and the rules of their house would prevent such behavior. After all, when a child is born, the new parents do not hold their little bundle of joy and say to each other, “I wonder at what age this little bundle will do drugs or steal or maybe our bundle of joy will skip the little stuff and go right to committing murder”.
Well people I am here to inform you that your little bundle of joy will grow and learn and at some point, along the way, they will discover they have a thing called “free will”, and when they discover this they will learn exactly how they want to use their new found “free will” for themselves. You as the all-knowing guiding parent will become very confused on how fast the process takes. The precious little bundle that you held and rocked suddenly turned into this “free will” welding strange child standing before you and in just a small blur of time, they become an adult.
Now for some parent’s there comes a point when the child’s “free will” ushers in a stage of parenthood that you feel helpless. Your child’s decisions and actions feel like a chain around you dragging you along with nobody there to help or break the chain. It is a test that no loving parent ever wants to go through (Trust Me). It is a test where parents learn the true experience of unconditional love and at the same time feel the absolute crushing heartache of their child’s “free will”. As a parent who has gone through this with my own bundle of joy, I can speak from experience and from the heart. While struggling daily to keep it together and yet go about normal life it gets tough. With everything you are going through as parents with a child who choose destructive “free will” add the small-town gossip.
Yes, on top of what you are struggling with also comes the time when you discover the naysayers of your community. Every community has those that decide they know more than enough to pass judgment upon you, your household rules, and any other factors they can think of. As if they know what it is like, they do not live in your house so how do they know your household rules. They have never taken the time to be a friend so how do they know you as a person. At the same time, this is where you find your true support and where those that truly care about you as a person and care about your family, shine through and for no other reason than to be there just because they care and some are there because they have walked your path.
It does not matter what the rules are in your house, or how you teach your children from an early age how to respect others, or teach them proper manners, at some point “free will” kicks in and takes over. Example you have taught your child to use color crayons on paper and in coloring books then one day you discover crayon on the wall. Lesson time, you show your child that coloring on the wall is wrong and that we do not color on the wall. Then for just a brief moment, you turn your attention to something else and when you turn, back to your child, there as bold, as can be is coloring on the wall. This lesson along with the proper punishments can go on for a long time but by the time your child is 12 years old what is the point, they know coloring on the wall is wrong, but they do anyway. Then the next thing you find is that your pre-teen child has discovered drugs, I will tell you now the real pain and suffering begins, because unlike the color crayons on the wall that you can clean or paint over, with drug addiction there is no amount of scrubbing or painting that makes it just disappear that quickly.
Day after day and moment after moment you live with your heart precariously balanced on the tip of a scale knowing at any time your child’s “free will” can cause that scale to tip one way or another. Your phone rings when you answer the voice that comes through is the voice of your child saying, “Mom, I am ok, but I have been arrested and I think I will be spending some time in jail”. The scale tips just ever so slightly to give your heart some relief and you can take a breath with a slight sigh of relaxation. Yes, I know the feeling very, well actually more than I would like to know. However, the scale could tip the other way and that is an experience I never want to feel. My greatest fear I live with due to my child’s destructive “free will”.
You are not expecting company yet there is a knock on the door when you open it there stands a high-ranking officer and one other officer and they ask if they can come in. At that moment your knees go weak, your heart pounds, you feel as if you cannot breathe, you greet them into your home. As you sit, and they proceed to tell you that they have, some bad news they must deliver. Another agency has been in contact with their agency and they believe your adult child’s body has been located and they need you to go with them.
I can only imagine it is at that very moment the scale tips completely over throwing your heart to the ground and shattering into a million pieces. Your mind goes to another place a place where your child was once small, before “free will” had a chance to catch hold. A time when making a silly face would make them laugh and giggle, a time when coloring on the wall would have been a masterpiece. A time you would trade anything and everything you own just, so you can to go back and try again, maybe you can do something different that would change this outcome. When your mind returns to a somewhat coherent state, you realize your spouse is helping you with putting your shoes on. The officer is still talking about some process that will need to take place and where you will be able to pick up your child’s personal belongings. After a positive identification of the body, you will need to sign some forms for the release of your child’s body for burial. I believe in reality you would only hear “Bla bla bla”.
I say to everyone who decides you know more than enough to pass on parental judgment, STOP, and think about how you would cope if it was you and your child going through this life. Do not judge that parent; they have enough heartache, they do not need more. Be a support, if you do not know what to say then just give them a hug or say, “hello it is nice to see you today”. If you are unable to do that, or you feel it is beneath you, then please keep your God giving judgements to Yourself.
I say to my adult child that their “free will” has not killed them, however they still go about their days as if it is one big party of fun or their “free will” has once again put them sitting locked in the custody of some legal agency. And while they are waiting for that legal system to decide where you will be living and for how long, my heart aches with a pain that I cannot describe and an anger of what did I do wrong.
I ask you child; how would you cope if this was your child and you were the parent living through these same “free will” choices that you have made? What more needs to happen before you change your “free will” into positive choices and productive living.
Some Things Just Need to Be Said