Friday, August 15, 2008

My Parental Pledge

I heard some very disturbing news this morning.

The family of a boy who was shot to death at school is suing the school district because they (the school) allowed the boy to wear make up and feminie clothing to school. You can read the whole article if you think that sounds too ridiculous to be true!

My search of "Family sues school district for son's death" yielded 5,070,000 results...where are the parents? Where is the accountability? As a high school teacher and, most importantly, Mom I am absolutely blown away by the consequence free environment in which so many Americans live. I think the school district should counter-sue the parents for allowing their child to leave the house wearing make-up and feminie clothing! Or am I being presumptious in thinking that this poor child even had parents at home when he would leave for, or come home from, school each day.

But wait...I was a latch key kid...I came home to an empty house (until our house was broken into and then my parents got me a sitter). And still my parents knew everything that was going on in my life.

My parents gave me consequences...really, really bad consequences, like grounding me from the curling iron in 1987 ( more baseball bangs) when I talked back to my mom, or grounding me from my car the summer before my senior year in high school because I got a D in Geometry...remember now, I grew up in Tucson, was gothic (ie: wore only black) and had to walk to summer school to make up that grade! And the best was getting grounded when I was caught in the act of lying...I told my parents I was going to a basketball game, when in fact I went to Mo Udall park and made out with Lenny Robles for like 3 hours...oh..high school...My parents had a hunch I was fibbing, so my dad drove to the game to see if I was there and when I wasn't, he stayed in the parking lot until we pulled up...I am pretty sure I was grounded for the remainder of my freshman year!!
So my pledge is this:

I PROMISE to, first and foremost, BE THERE for Marley; physically present as often as I can without smothering him to death or taking away his independence! But more importantly, when I can't be there physically, I will do all I can to be there emotionally, to provide a place for him that is safe to talk about my parents did! I told them EVERYTHING...when I was thinking about doing drugs in college, when I lost my virginity, when I was dealing with the scars left from my biological mother's leaving...they were there! And they taught me that it's OK to be hurt and angry or sad, but it's NOT ok to mess up my life because of it...and until I was old enough to suffer consequences of my own...they were there making sure I suffered through theirs.
And my parents are still there for me and Mike, and I know for Marley too, which really rocks!!

Secondly, I PROMISE to give Marley consequences when he makes bad choices. I hated being grounded, and I was grounded a lot as a child, and teen, but rarely did I make the same mistake twice!

And last, I PROMISE to look to these people first when Marley does mess up! Not to the school, not to his friends, but to us...what can we do to ensure Marley makes good choices? That is what we will ask...we will not blame others, we will take responsibility to raise our beautiful baby boy to be a strong, smart, accountable, young Ethiopian-American man!!

Thank you Mom and Dad for being such great role models!! I love you both to death!!


Hauswife said...

Right on! My parents were disciplinarians, too, and I know for a fact that I deserved every single spank, grounding, and restriction they gave me. Thank God for involved and active parents because today they are too few and far between!

Brad and Christy Sherrell said...

I noticed your blog from Laurie's and this entry really hit me. I have 3 boys (1 of which is a beautiful Ethiopian babe). I can't imagine blamming someone else for my kid's problems. My husband and I are it! We are the cause of the good and the bad. Our oldest son is entering Middle School and I know that is where things start to go wrong. SO, I make sure he knows that we will always find out one way or another if he makes wrong choices. For goodness sakes, parents need to take responsiblity. You are definitely on the right track and Marley is one lucky little man.

Danni and Tommy said...

Love the post! I miss my smiley Marley. He is SUCH good stuff.

Sam said...

Right on! I completely agree!