Among the many sickening, literally nauseating, stories in the news this week (i.e. #anotherboy), I found myself grieving over this from the New York Times: Tears literally rolled down my cheeks as my heart ached/aches for kids (like Kathryn DeWitt whose story is documented), for parents, for teachers, for counselors and all of us who are seemingly prisoners, shackled to never-satisfied societal standards. Though standards and expectations have always existed, there’s something about today’s landscape that tightens the vice grip. Finding no way to satisfy the elusive, unattainable mark to measure up, Kathryn finally “…researched whether the university returned tuition to parents of students who die by suicide, and began cutting herself to “prepare” for the pain.” Agony. It’s
“I’m not on social media or Facebook or anything,” a friend told me yesterday when we bumped into each other at the grocery store. Both of us racing in for a quick-grab (that instantly became not-so-quick) stopped & paused to catch up. “So,” she continued, “it’s hard to relate to Sam (name-changed teen) as she processes and struggles with feeling left out or less-than.” “Oh,” I sighed. “I get it.” She told me how Sam had come home from camp – a week away from technology – and almost instantly started to struggle under the weight of her friends’ photo feeds. One pic-set in particular showed her friends’ selfie action at the pool. The hardest part for Sam, one of the pool-pic friends had only hours before declined getting
“When I was your age… (fill in the blank).” We’ve all said it. It usually involves some reference to hardship. I said it on a recent drive to my brother’s lake house. Mine went a little something like this: “When I was your age, my brothers and sister and I endured looong car trips every summer. And the air-conditioning was a bit lacking – no vents in the back seats of our blue station wagon. We would fight for a spot in hopes of just a few wisps of coolness to come our way.” I think my comment was spurred by someone being hot. Or could have been the motel we passed that reminded me of our family’s August car-trip-vacations. It was a scary motel, covered in dark wood siding. Each of It’s 10 rooms had tiny little window units and metal doors that led to the smoldering parking lot.
“There’s a side to you that I never knew, Kay Wyma,” my friend Brooke smiled. We were last to leave the morning gathering. “Yes,” she continued, “I learned a few things about you last week – from your car.” New things about me from my car? My mind raced to grab hold of anything tangible that might give me a clue. Then I remembered. Oh my goodness. My car! She had been so super nice the week before to run to my car and grab something for me. I had been on deck to lead our Tuesday summer Bible study on heaven. Being the flake that I am and never pretend to not be, I had left the book we’re studying on the passenger seat of my car. Introductions of the morning had been made, the make-shift recording started, I realized I didn’t have the necessary materials, saw Brooke and loud-whispered