Friends sometimes fuck up, friends sometimes make very little sense. When something goes wrong, even in anger, safety precludes all.
We watch over each other or we wouldn't have called ourselves friends in the first place.
I have found that as a parent of teenagers, one of the hardest things in the world is watching them stumble without any means to cover the corners of life with rubber bumpers. You teach them to recognize the warning signs, the pitfalls, the sharp edges so that when they do trip, they don't break a limb. You trust the last thirteen (plus) years of preparation; you hope you haven't left anything out. They are going to fall. It is inevitable. Just how far and how many times, is to be seen.
Teach. Reiterate. Trust. Hope.
Then cross your fingers, knock on wood, throw some salt over your shoulder, light a candle, pray to God, Allah, Ganesh, Buddha, the Universe, science, Shera, your blue lamp - make the rounds - watch the clock until anxiety subsides and another moment has been walked through and learned from.
Listen. Love. Support. Challenge.
This repetitive process, may require a lot of Valium on your part.
Accept that. Quickly. Take a breath and hold.
Your role as a parent has changed and if you do not learn to ride the wave, struggling against the undertow is going to fucking kill you.
My girls have several friends, who I consider. Often. I cannot help but care about these tiny butterflies who float into my life, some of them, their wings already damaged from how many times they have hit the ground. In some cases not from their own doing and my heart further breaks for their innocence lost.
I've cried more than once this weekend for several of them, including my own. I recognize small pieces of my own broken, teenage experience in each and it hurts so much, to feel their discomfort, suppressed anger, and sadness for a lost childlike world of glistening gold, they are now realizing is worn, tarnished and nonexistent in some places.
For my own, and those I consider, when the moment becomes unsure and unstable, I hope they remember how much they are loved, cared and thought of. That I will never judge them for their decisions, no matter how I may disagree. That I am always there, for that 10pm call, for that 3am call, when they might not want to pick up the phone, when they are freaked out beyond belief for the repercussions, when they have misjudged a situation, when they find themselves having made the wrong decision, I hope I hope I hope they never forget that someone is there for them. Someone ready to throw out a lifeline, or to scoop them up and carry them away from danger so they can try again another day.
Nothing matters more to me than making sure they are safe: mind and body.
Once we feel that safety, truly know there is a net out there somewhere, we can be shown the dark clouds all have silver linings; taught to see it for ourselves. For every fall that happens we can learn, for every misstep one has taken, an opportunity lies from which to grow.
Perhaps that I why I see it as so important. There is so much more to impart once eyes begin to open. When they are comfortable enough to ask and trust enough to hear.
We, as parents, never ever, have enough time.
Let mine be as long as possible.
Let them always trust my intentions and let my intentions always be honest and good.
Let them forgive me when I misstep; let me remember to do the same.
Let those who struggle outside of my daily grasp, see a beacon, somewhere.
Let them always feel they are loved. Without condition.
These are my wishes, today.
Pamela and Samantha, (Tristyn, Casey, David, Alexandra, Faith), Destiny, Mary, Christina, Jordan, Melissa, Keiley, Jada, Josilynne, Chelsea, Cassia, Victoria, Heather, Katie, Jessica (Simone Milk), Maren, Austin, Kendall, Drew, Narnia, Sadie, TJ, Alex and for all the others, in and out, known for years or moments, or soon to be:
You are loved. You are cared for. You are thought of and considered, daily. More than you may feel, more than I personally remember to tell you, more than you know. Today I will work harder than yesterday and every day after that, in all that I do concerning you. I am here for you always. You are never alone. And nothing you ever do or say to me, no matter how infuriating or frustrating, will ever change that.
Always and forever,