This morning while getting my coffee, the "Hren's Nest" had the news going. The unpleasant ongoing story was of the multiple stabbing attack in Pennsylvania. It's hard, in light of all that has gone on over the last few years in our countries schools, to not feel the all to familiar surge of revulsion, mixed with parental concern. Then their is the moment when your brain, not wanting to stare to deeply into the eyes of such horror, tries desperately to avert your gaze. Once it becomes secure in the fact that "it was not your children, not your schools" it quickly fills your thoughts with more "pressing" concerns. Unfortunately, this time, when they flashed the location of the most recent attack, my brain had a moment of focused pause. Pennsylvania? Angela has a niece and nephew of high school age in Pennsylvania!? But where in Pennsylvania?! Thankfully, after an hour and a half of unanswered phone calls to the house (realizing of course that Angi is still resting and recovering from Saturday) Elijah was able to find out that it was in fact not their high school. I listened on to the continual news feed for about a half an hour, but had to turn it off when it was apparent that there was no new news, just the normal, continual repeating of what little info they had. Once the announcers began reporting "unsubstantiated rumors" and conjecture, I switched off!
The initial opinion was it was in response to bullying. OY! If no one minds, I am going to vent my opinion on that, take it for what it's worth.
Bullying is a regrettable part of childhood growth. It prepares children to overcome adversity. and realize that the world can be a harsh place. This of course, needs to be coupled with guidance of how to deal with it. Avoid? Confront? Defend? Retaliate? Trying to teach the bully not to bully is like trying to teach a shark not to eat meat! Mind you, I have no soft hearted pity for any bully. I was, like many others, an object of bullying through out my school career. My biggest regret is I did not defend or retaliate. Luckily, nowadays, we have not had to deal, too much, with bullying. Our kids are not bullies, but when they become the object of it, they fight back. No seeking revenge or suppressed aggression and anxiety. Nope, they tackle it head on and go right for the jugular! I have to give ALL of the credit to Angela, her indomitable will (not to mention Irish lineage) and "in your face" attitude, for their spirit. Rozy, has been the only one to really have to deal with it to any degree (little girls can be vicious!). When her brothers are not present to step in, she will handle it on her own. Although it has resulted in a couple of phone calls from the school. The general rule I have instilled in the children is "never throw the first punch, but always throw the last". When I ask the teacher "who started it?" if it was one of mine, they are in trouble. So far, they haven't been in trouble. They did the right thing, they defended themselves. Case closed.
Unfortunately, not all kids have the support, or the personality to stand up for themselves, and bullies smell that. If my experience as a kid is any test, schools, teachers and administrators were no help. They would tell you to ignore it and walk way, but suspend you if you fought back. "It takes two to make a fight"
It takes one A-hole with a hankering to feel superior and one poor kid just trying to survive through the day being backed up against a wall. That kid who is afraid to fight back for whatever reason, physical limitations or fear of getting in trouble? I'd have to speculate that out of all the kids in America today suffering the silent torture of bullying, there are a few with a caustic mix of emotions that just keep festering until one day...
We get this.
The fact that it was a stabbing? That is a very personal attack, fueled by rage. He had the knife with him. I speculate he reached his boiling point and carried it with the thought "just one more time!"
Then of course I heard comments about why the school didn't have more security? Lord! When are we going to learn, you can't spend all the time complaining about state spending, and want to prioritize pet projects and then have this occur and wonder why? Funding. Plain and simple. Our children's security is not top priority to anyone that writes up the budget! If it were, guards, security stations, metal detectors, cameras, locked doors would all be mandatory.
Bottom line is (and we can ALL go on complaining about what other people are not doing for our kids) recent events in our life has led me to the conclusion that I need to be WAY more involved in my kids everyday life. I need to know not only what they re doing but what they are thinking. Sure, it is NOT easy sometimes when we all have so much else to concern ourselves with. But you know what, we brought them into this world, it is for us to determine how best to teach them and to raise them. Sad part is, that personally, my head was so far into my own responsibilities that once I really started to pay attention, I came to realize as annoying as they an be sometimes Angi and I have some really good kids!
Yea, I personalized that a bit, didn't I? Towards the end there I think I really started to talk to myself! My advice? Get to know your kids, as to what kind of person they are becoming. Don't be all "politically correct" in how you talk to them. Let them know you are real! Don't be afraid to lay down the line, keeping in mind they will ALLWAYS try and cross it, but once they do...well, the word "NO" is one syllable and easy to pronounce. Most importantly (forgive me for getting all sappy) make DAMN sure that regardless of WHO they may become you,very simply, love them.
All right, I'm off my soapbox.
ON to WORK! Yesterday, although the morning was met with a torrential downpour, not to mention being a bloody Tuesday, was very busy. Once again, I was consumed with repairs (NOT complaining) the end result was
NO new rides!
I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry....
BUT, after finishing a couple quickies this morning I will be ON TO NEW BUILDS!!!
Keep an eye out for them, got some real beauties!
All right, with that I am History! No, I'm Mythology! Oh I don't know what I am! BUT I"M OUTTA HERE!