Since we moved here, we've gotten to know a lot of wonderful people, not the least of which are three families, all with boys, who have had trouble with them (the boys).
That lead sentence makes you think nothing much is amiss -- boys will be boys, right? We all know men (and some women!) who were foolish risk-takers in their misspent youth. They smoked, and not just nicotine. They did a few drugs. They slept around a bit too much. They partied. They didn't study. They had a series of low-level jobs that they constantly quit or were fired from. They lived in really dumpy apartments and seemed to think that doing laundry on a regular basis was just too bourgeois. To summarize, they seemed aimless until they, miraculously, got their proverbial shit together. Many of them now are very successful at what they do, and (perhaps not surprisingly), the ones I know chose unconventional careers. But, they're raising kids now (or chickens), and they've turned vegetarian and health-conscious, and they do yoga and volunteer in the community. In other words, they turned out all right.
It's likely that the ones we know with those sorts of youthful tales are the ones that, as sociologists say, outgrew their addictions. Sociologists often distinguish between two groups of drug-users: youth-restricted and those who persist into adulthood. Not surprisingly, it's the latter group that is the most problematic. They usually escalate to harder and harder drugs, and that's never good. But, you cannot tell when they are young which ones will stop on their own and get it together, and which will persist.
The kids we know have had histories of bad behavior, and as teens, have progressed, shockingly fast, to really hard drugs. As in, a year ago drinking their first beers and now dropping acid.
The parents have made the astronomically expensive and mind-boggingly heart-breaking choice to have the boys shipped out to programs which claim an impressive track record in turning kids like these around.
These are parents who are well-educated, who have tried every other avenue to reach their kids. They're involved in their kids' schools and in the community. They are, in every way that I know of, good parents.
But right now, they feel like the worst parents ever.
So, I'm writing all this just because I'd really like all my friends to pray for these boys and their parents. May they find their way back to each other, back to health, and back to the promising future their parents have worked so hard to try to give them.
- My interests include veganism and vegetarianism, health, ethics, politics and culture, media, and the environment. I have three kids; I teach college part-time, study piano and attempt to garden. I knit. I blog on just about anything, but many posts are related to my somewhat pathetic quest to eat better, be more mindful of the environment, and be a more responsible news consumer. Sometimes I write about parenting, but, like so many Mommy bloggers, my kids have recently told me not to. :) Thanks for reading.