Friday, July 21, 2006

Thirteen Reasons

so has anyone seen the movie Thirteen?

Troy and I decided to have a movie-night last night, and we watched it.

To say it was disturbing for me to watch would be an understatement. I don't know if it's the pregnancy hormones, the fact that I'm a parent, or the fact that I'm a parent of a GIRL, but watching this movie about a thirteen year old's journey into drugs, promiscuity and violence really hit home and more than often, made me weep quietly.

I don't want to give away too much of the movie, but I have to say I'm thankful that there are such raw and ugly movies out there that make me take pause. There was a part of the movie, towards the end, when the mother was kissing the main character's scabs and scars that made me outright bawl. I can't imagine Rhena ever feeling such little regard for herself that she would hurt herself in the ways portrayed in this movie. as a mother... a mother so very in love with a beautiful and innocent child such as rhena... I cried and cried.

because let's face it. there's going to be a day when rhena will be making her own choices. and sure, she does now, but not choices on whether to do drugs, to escape, to belittle herself sexually for anyone.

and I think back on my life, and there is NO WAY I would have done the shit these girls depicted in the movie were doing. Even in my 20's and 30's... I can't fathom doing some of the things these THIRTEEN year olds were doing. Those CHILDREN. those BABIES.

now that's not to say that all kids will be like that, but who's to say they CAN'T? What can troy and I do to prevent Rhena from venturing down such a dark dark road? What can we do to make her love herself so options like those would be out of the question?

and more importantly... even if she makes it through her teenage years without becoming a drug-addict-whore of some sorts (either totally or in part)... will our love and examples be enough to get her through her twenties? through her life?

I look at some of my behavior in MY twenties, and will it was G-rated compared to this movie, I'm sure in many ways, my parents would be literally crushed inside if they knew what I did. and then I look at the behaviors of some of my friends. how would THEIR parents feel if they knew what really was going on? I imagine not so great, because I look sometimes through the eyes of a parent and ruefully wonder "what if it was Rhena?"

Parenting is not easy. soon-to-be-birthday girl Susie was just talking the other day of getting through the onset of 2-year old independence. Admittedly, this age is tough. I'm feeling the toughness on a daily basis most times. But yet.. holy shit... the idea of the future scares me even more!

I definitely give credit to my parents for giving me as much freedoms as they did. I mean.. how did they know I wouldn't fuck it all up? And I *want* to let Rhena have the independence and ability to think for herself like I was allowed to growing up... but holy worry-warts, batman; movies like Thirteen kinda scare the shit out of me.

oh well. one day at a time, right? In the meantime.. hats off to the parents of older 'kids' out there. whether your child is 13 or 35, I'm beginning to see that in many ways, Rhena turning two is going to be a walk in the park.


Christi said...

You know, I struggle with the thoughts of locking my children away now to save them the misery of life to come...but in reality, you just can't do that...or can you?

Yesterday I was talking to Julia and telling her about this kid I tutor, and how he gets no attention at home and tells these big lies to make himself sound big and get attention. I was telling her I hope that I am a caring, loving, and nurturing enough mother that my kids never feel like they have to do that. Of course, then ten seconds later, I turned and yelled, "Quit it, you turd nugget!" to Taryn. Ahhh, I can see already I'm on the right path!

Bridget said...

I've seen that movie and had the same reaction, scared the crap out of me and made me cry and cry. I have the exact same thoughts being a mom as well. I think Riley was about two days old when I had the thought, holy crap she's going to be a teenage girl some day! Lord help me and give me strength!!! I don't have any answer's right now, but know that I'm right there with ya!

greekchickie said...

Kids these days are definitely grown up... too quickly, I'm afraid. It's a shame what kids these days are exposed to.

I think you & Troy have good fundamental beliefs & they will carry over to both of your children.


susie said...

Shit I think of this stuff all the time. Cause I'm itching to give myself an ulcer I guess. As I kiss Liam's toes and knees and yummy neck...I think jesus please dont ruin this gorgeous felsh with tatoos and piercings! Now I understand why parents freak out. Children are such beautiful creatures, it's painful to think of them hurting themself - in whatever ways that is... But I have to keep myself flexible to the fact that if I'm doing something that isn't resulting well for Liam...that I HAVE to change.

But still the idea that Liam might hate some things about himself...the way that *I* hate things about myself makes me want to cry...because I think everything about him is beautiful.

My sister tells me that the teenage years feel the worst because she has to rely on faith that she has given them the basics to make good decisions. She can't hold their hands anymore. But everytime they leave the house, her heart goes out the front door too.

Sorry to hijack your blog! I'm such a HOG! Better get my feet off the coffee table too!

holy chaos said...

I have 5 chicks. two are teenagers...boys the others are gilrs. i am the oldest of 4 girls. one is a drug addict. and it has really done a number on our family.i pray every day for my children and trust that even when i am not with them God is and He is big enough to get through to them. I do not know why my sister is the way she is. it is painful and the aftermath of what she did is even more painful. but her story is not over and I have faith that God can turn any life back to good.