Toddlers to teens

I am a fan of LiteraryMama and follow their blog posts in my Google Reader. Tonight I read news which is so sad and which disturbs me at my mama core. What I read is disturbing because it makes me worry about the future, in particular about my boys’ future.

One of the former editors at Literary Mama, Katie Allison Granju, is grieving the death of her 18-year-old son . Her son Henry, from what I’ve read, was an engaged, intelligent and deeply loved boy. In the photos showing his dark hair, broad smile, and confident glance at the camera, I can easily see the faces of my two sons as they grow older. The sadness in this story lies in the addiction to drugs that this young man developed. And, just as I see my sons in this boy, I see myself in this mother: trying to find the right words, trying to reassure her son that everyone makes mistakes and then trying with all her strength to save him.

What Katie has to share her “rear view mirror”, as she calls it, to help other parents see what she realizes was an even more critical moment than she understood at the time. Yes, she was alarmed and upset with her 14-year-old son’s revelation. However, in retrospect she sees that moment as one time when it may have been possible to put him on a different course. Which is one of those difficult and scary things about parenthood — we often can’t know it’s THE moment when we’re in it.

This painful story has given me a reminder that while the tantrums and outbursts of my two-year-old son and his six-year-old brother can by trying, there are even tougher discussions and pivotal moments ahead.

Sometimes I worry that I am a mama who is too protective or too cautious where my young sons are concerned. Katie’s words and reflections remind me that motherhood is my most important job and I must do everything I can to ensure that these sweet, sweet boys of mine stay safe. And that in spite of all we do, we can’t protect them always and forever. But, we can love them always and forever.

My thoughts are with this Mama, her family and especially with her Henry.

Postscript: I just received a pingback on this post. Someone in Katie’s circle, Shane, is creating a blog with links to people who have read about Henry Granju and subsequently posted on their blogs. Shane’s thought is that someday Katie may find comfort in reading these posts. What a wonderful gift; I am honored to be included in this list of blogs. And, Katie, if you read this post…thank you for your open heart. I am truly grateful for what you have shared in Henry’s story.

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5 Responses to Toddlers to teens

  1. Leah says:

    Thanks for this post, Liz. And how brave of Katie to share this! Really puts things in perspective. Parenthood can be absolutely terrifying. My little boys are the same ages as yours. Reading Katie’s story made me want to go hold them tight.

  2. Jan Udlock says:

    Hey Liz, Thank you for the post, too. What a tragic story. When our kids are young, you never think that is going to happen to you. She was very brave to share her story so moms (and dads) stay aware.

  3. Liz says:

    Yes, Jan, it’s hard to imagine those “grown up” issues when dealing with toddlers. And, yes, hearing about those issues does make me want to hug my boys all the longer, too, Leah!

  4. Andrea says:

    So sad and terrifying. I can’t even imagine how I would react in a similar situation…or what she might have done differently to save her son. Heartbreaking.

  5. Pingback: A Blog Memory Album of Henry

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