3. Share a mom fail.
I’m reading a book called A Mother’s Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy by Sue Klebold, the mother of Columbine shooter Dylan Klebold.
It has been fascinating and heartbreaking and tragic to read about the Columbine High School shooting from her perspective. She received the frantic call that gunmen had entered the school and she panicked over her son’s safety just like every mother. She had no idea. I’m only halfway through the book and much of it is spent humanizing her son with personal stories of their time together.
As details of the massacre made their way to her, it was nearly impossible for her to wrap her mind around the fact that her child could do something so horrendous. Does he make stupid mistakes every now and again? Sure. Has he gotten into a bit of trouble in this past? Sure. Is he capable of killing another human? Absolutely not.
I feel the same way about my kids and that’s a bit disconcerting. I Google searched more information about the shooting and read accounts of what Dylan’s role specifically was that day and I looked back at the book and was all, “Well you were missing SOMETHING!” because it sounds to me he acted of his own accord and in cold blood. We are certainly too quick to blame parents when something like this happens, but I think part of that is because there is no one closer. We think someone should have been responsible for picking up on cues and who better than a responsible parent? But as parents, are we blinded by a history of raising and bonding with our kids that prevents us from truly seeing them.
A few years ago I was struck by what Anne Frank’s father had to say about the discovery of her diary after she was killed in a concentration camp, “Otto Frank said, “I must say, I was very much surprised by the deep thoughts Anne had….it was quite a different Anne I had known as my daughter. She never really showed this kind of inner feeling. And my conclusion is, since I had been in very good terms with Anne, that most parents don’t know really their children.”
What am I missing by knowing my kids as their mother?
Sue Klebold is living a nightmare that her son created. I’m only halfway through, but her book reads, in many ways like an apology as well as a tool that aims to help other families identify when a child needs help. It’s tough to read knowing how many people were hurt and traumatized by the shooting, but it challenged me to look at my kids objectively. It led me to pick up my kids ipods and do a thorough inspection of accounts even though my kids are young and innocent and sheltered.
I discovered some alarming and potentially dangerous conversations happening in the private messaging sections of one or more of the apps. Phones have been confiscated, tears have been shed, my rose colored glasses need cleaning, but a really important conversation happened and new rules have been put into play. I wish I had done it sooner.
I hate that this book had to be written, however it inspires me not to just “pay closer attention”…but to dig. And you should too. Pick up your kids electronics today, look at their accounts (including video games with chat rooms) and check on those private/direct messages that no one else sees and you didn’t even know they used. And then burn the Internet down. I can’t keep up with it and I don’t know what I should or should not allow at this point. Just burn the whole thing down.
Now it’s your turn!
Choose a prompt, post it on your blog, and come back to add your name to the link list below. Be sure to sign up with the actual post URL and not just your basic blog URL (click on the title of your post for that URL). For good comment karma try to comment on the three blogs above your name!!
1. Share a new recipe you would like to try.
2. Something your kids said that made you think.
3. Share a mom fail.
4. Write a blog post inspired by the word: staycation.
5. Memorial Day Weekend plans?? Do share!
6. Talk about a time you embarrassed yourself.