In the grieving process of losing my son Alex to an accidental drug overdose, I have started writing a blog as therapy. Not only has it helped me, but from comments received, it let's others know they are not alone and what they feel is sometimes exactly what they are SUPPOSE to feel. Bless you all who find yourselves in my position; I wish you weren't.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

When Alex was in junior high, the big shooting at Columbine happened. I was devastated by this and horrified at the fact that these boys had ruined so MANY lives.When the kids came home I MADE them watch this all on TV and I thought, then, it would be a learning experience. I remember my daughter feeling so bad for the kids, that they were caught and trapped and she felt that it was unfair that they had the ability to bring the guns onto the school ground. Adam thought it was bad, but his reaction was so different. He thought the boys were hoodlums, kids that must have had grown up on the wrong side of the tracks, with no love or guidance from their parents that could have helped them understand what they did was SO wrong. Alex was quiet. He really didn't say much. Even after prodding him and making sure he understood what he was watching, he was still very quiet. At first, I took this as a bad sign. I thought OMG what have I done? I have scarred my kids for life by making them watch this. But then Alex, he finally piped in. His voice was small, timid, almost whisper like. "Mom, did these guys plan this?"  At first I wasn't sure how to answer because seriously, no answers had come out yet exactly if they had or had not. "I'm not sure Alex, but it kind of looks like it, they had alot of bombs in different places and they knew where certain students were, so I guess yes, maybe they did." At that point I wasn't sure what to expect. I knew I really thought I had made a mistake so I shut the tv off and went to start dinner. Adam and Audra went there separate ways but Alex stayed by my side. He was kind of quiet but he help with dinner. Finally I had to break the silence. "Alex, what bothers you the most about those kids being shot honey, you can tell me?"  He was a little shy at first, but he came straight out and said,"They're idiots, they're stupid people that don't care about nobody but themselves. They KILLED people mom, and for no reason, just because they were different!" I was shocked. He was at the time 14 years old and he seemd to have had grasped the situation more than Adam, and alot more than me. I talked to him, one on one, and we discussed what it must have been like being trapped, what maybe they could have done different, and to remember there were survivors and the boys themselves killed themselves, so they must have been very upset with what they had done. He seemed to be satisfied with what we talked about, and when Mark came home I waited until after dinner to tell him what happened. He understood why I had them watch it, it was part of the worlds news, and with school the next day,it wasn't like we could shield it from them. Anyhow, the next day Alex had a test in one of his classes and when he was done the teacher said TURN YOUR PAPERS OVER AND DRAW WHATEVER YOU WANT TO PASS THE TIME. Well, on Alex's mind was, you guessed it, the Columbine shooting. So Alex drew a school, 2 kids holding guns, and a couple of bombs strategically placed throughout his fake school. He had NO names on anything, no kids names, no school name, nothing. At this time, I worked part time so of course, I got a phone call from the principal right after the teacher saw the paper and reported it to him. When I got to the school, Alex was very upset. I talked to him in the hallway and he told me exactly what had happened and what he had done. When we got into the office, the principal went ON AND ON AND ON at how serious this problem was and could I possibly understand how upsetting it was to the teacher. I did understand, but I was still upset. "Sir, let me tell you something, when my kids got home yesterday from school I MADE them watch what was on tv, I MADE them talk about what they thought, and I MADE sure they understood how serious the incident was. But let me understand this, YOUR teacher gave explicit instructions to draw on the back of the papers when their test was done, correct? Well, he did exactly what she said and after last night and what I MADE them listen to and watch, you tell me, what would be on your mind today?" At first the teacher and principal were a little speechless, but they were still upset by the fact of what he drew. So I asked to see the picture. "I see a school, I see 2 boys with guns and I see some bombs, I see NO NAMES,NO SCHOOL NAME AND nothing that suggests Alex had any intentions of doing anything other than doing exactly what the teacher told him to do, so WHY is my son here?" Well, again, they explained that behavior like this ESPECIALLY now, after only one day had passed since the shooting, that this could not be ignored. So the punishment was that Alex was suspended from school for the rest of the day (it was his 2nd class of the day) and he had to REFRAIN from taking the teacher so seriously the next time she gave such instructions.  I WAS LIVID !  I understood where they were coming from but I truly did not believe the punishment was necessary. But I let them have there way, but I did not punish Alex. We went out to lunch, we went to the store and bought some groceries and a couple special sweets he picked out, and then we went out for ice cream. I did explain to him that the teachers had really blown out of proportion what he had done, but that he had to understand that right now all the teachers were very upset about Columbine and what he had done scared her. The next day he went to her and apologized, ON HIS OWN, because I did not tell him he had to do this. But I was so proud of my son that day. He had made such a grown up decision to apologize and he really understood why she was upset. But he also knew I KNEW he meant no harm in the drawing and that he couldn't hurt anyone. This is what a mother's love is like; it's a roller coaster full of ups and owns, twist and turns, and it takes you places you have never been before. But in the long run, it is worth EVERY SINGLE MINUTE.  

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