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footloose and furious on the flipside

These photos below are what 11,12 and 13 year old girls should look like. Goofy as all get out,smiles that stretch across their face and beyond, footloose and fancy free. Having fun. Biggest worry? I don’t have anything to wear. If you have a girl of this age you know what I am talking about. There are more clothes on my kids floor that everyone else in this house has in their closets combined. I love this age.I love my girl.

So now imagine this. On the same day somewhere else there is another girl. A girl of the same age. Who asked to be hospitalized because she was afraid she was going to hurt herself. That girl is my 13 year old niece. VERY sad, I know. Understatement of the year.

So while my daughter and her gaggle of goofy girls had the best day riding horses, my niece is sitting in the youth ward of the hospital trying to get better. She is broken. Broken bad. She was broken by other kids. She was allowed to be broken by those nasty kids parents and school policies that protect the names of bad children.  Even the police were involved. None of this should have ever happened, but it did. This was allowed to go on so long the damage is deep. The damage is done. Bullying at its best. The bully’s won.

I know I sound preachy. I don’t give a rats ass. I am furious that it has come to this. This poor girl hasn’t been able to go to school because her reputation has been destroyed. She is a beautiful 13  yr old girl. It started first with her best friend. Her “frenemy.” She literally had girls in high school contact my niece and say they were going to beat her up if she went to that school. She had other kids threaten to cut her hair off if she went to the dance. She spread rumours that she had done sexual things with boys.  That is only a sliver of the pie.Keep in mind this was all done through the lovely platform of social media. This crap happened on a daily basis through Facebook, texting, whatever. Gosh, that is another rant I will go on  one day but not now. Sorry, I am ranting but parents please  we all think our kids are angels, we all love them, we all think to ourselves my kid would never do any thing like that.  I am not saying they will BUT I am just putting a bug in your ear.

TALK to your kids about being a good person and what that means. Talk to them about being the person who sticks up for the kid that maybe someone else makes a joke about. Talk to them about small acts of kindness. Just a small compliment to someone can change their whole day. Talk to them about the potential damage that can be done to someone spreading rumours. Talk about making up their own minds in situations, not following the group.

I hope even a little bit of this makes sense. I am in tears and heartbroken for my sister and her family. She said they are in “turbulence.”  I am sure that is another understatement.Their whole world has been turned upside down. She said the circumstances might have been a lot different if my Mom wasn’t over there babysitting. My niece admitted that she didn’t want Gramma to feel like it was her fault . Thank God for Grammas.

My point to this whole rambling is awareness. Life can be hard. Life will break you seven ways to Sunday. We have to protect our kids and everyones kids. We have to build people up, not break them down. We have to be good role models. Let us try not to judge people. Lets try to teach our kids to be good people on the planet. That is our job after all. If I had one wish for my kids it would be for them to be happy, healthy, good humans their whole lives. That is it!

For today though, my wish is that one certain girl can mend her broken spirit, grow an new set of strong wings and fly into the happiness of the future.

You who are on the road
Must have a code that you can live by
And so become yourself
Because the past is just a good bye.

Teach your children well,
Their father’s hell did slowly go by,
And feed them on your dreams
The one they picked, the one you’ll know by.

Don’t you ever ask them why, if they told you, you would cry,
So just look at them and sigh and know they love you.

And you, of tender years,
Can’t know the fears that your elders grew by,
And so please help them with your youth,
They seek the truth before they can die.

Can you hear and do you care and
Cant you see we must be free to
Teach your children what you believe in.
Make a world that we can live in.

Teach your parents well,
Their children’s hell will slowly go by,
And feed them on your dreams
The one they picked, the one you’ll know by.

Don’t you ever ask them why, if they told you, you would cry,
So just look at them and sigh and know they love you.

~ lyrics of  Teach Your Children by CSNY
han1 han2 han3

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19 replies »

  1. Ok your excellent rant had tears on my face before I even got to that perfect first line from a most beloved song… Yes PARENTS please, hear this post and please become informed about your child’s life, and kindness.. or LACK thereof! Your daughter and the horses have been beautifully captured with your keen photographer’s eye, as always, and is a most deserving forum for this very true and most deserved rant! My heart goes out to your niece. I join in with you and urge parents to please, teach your children well.
    Blessings dear heart, Gina

  2. Oh, Kim. I’m so so sorry to hear that. Please tell your sister that we’re thinking about them and hope that they can get some long overdue help with such a horrible situation. It makes me so furious. I think a lot of parents are oblivious to what their children are “really” like. I don’t mean that they don’t care, it’s just that they can’t imagine their own children can be so cruel and malicious. Either that, or they think it’s okay. Just a little teenager spat that doesn’t mean anything. It means EVERYTHING.

  3. Me in tears too. The world can be inexplicably and so randomly cruel. Hugs for you, and your niece and her family.
    In this horrible cruel mess my wish for her is that it makes her stronger, not in a harsh way, but in way that allows her to know herself and be true to herself no matter what, and to be able to stand strong in that. A lot to ask in the given circumstances I know, but maybe she will slowly come to it.
    xoxox

  4. Alison, thank you for your support. You comments mean alot. I do like to believe that what does not kill you can make us stronger too. It just makes me so pissed that it had to get this far. We are so grateful it didn’t get so far that there would be no coming back. xox k

  5. You made me eyes well up with tears, uncontrollably so. I’m so sorry. And your little girl looks like a “real” and carefree (not hollywood) version of Dakota Fanning (like the movie the Dreamer), so fun, so happy. I was just thinking that I want my kids to grow up around horses, and not video games and facebook. I’m so worried about the future of our kids.

    • I really appreciate you reading this. It truly means so much to me. I know what you are saying about the future of our children,it worries me as well. I would like to “unplug” my kids from all of it. Thank you again. :0)

  6. Kimberly, I read your post yesterday and I needed some time to “digest” it. My heart reaches out to you but, especially, to your sister and your niece. I can only imagine the pain, the sorrow, the frustration. I wish I had magic words to make this cruelty disappear. I pray that your niece, with the support of her family that loves her, will find the strength to overcome the darkness she must be going through. I’m sure she is a lovely, caring girl and that, in a future not that far away, she’ll turn into a young woman even more wonderful and strong because of what happened to her.
    Francesca

  7. Hello Francesca. I know, it is a lot to take in and digest. I do apologize for ranting and blaming others and generally being a dark horse but I feel like maybe I can raise some awareness and ideas in my own small way that can help not just my niece but other kids too. It is hard to imagine a child having to go through this. They shouldn’t have to. At this point there is only one way to go now and that is up. She is getting help and has a loving family and I think the positive energy that there is in the world will reach her eventually. I was telling my sister about all the lovely gracious people who were commenting and wishing her well. She was in tears and very grateful. It means everything to me to have all my blogger friends reach out to them. It means that the internet can be really good too. With all the light and love and happiness in the world she will be able to spin the negative out of this and walk away a stronger young lady. Thank you again my friend.

  8. I’m so sorry. I don’t have kids. When I was a kid, I was with nuns until the 9th grade and then I escaped to the barn. This is all so foreign and inexplicable to me. In high school, my best friend & I liked the same boy. We had a long talk about it, decided our friendship was more important, and would let him chose. 30+ years later we are still friends. Take heart, good people are out there. (Okay, he chose her, and my inner 17yo is still hurt, but that’s life.)

    • Thank you for your kind words and support. I too escaped to the barn as a youngster and I believe it kept me out of all sorts of trouble. This is my hope for my daughter as well. She comes to the barn every day and looks after her horses stall and loves her up. I think that animals have such a grounding/healing effect on people, which is a blessing. I am happy to hear you and your friend made it through the boy trouble. :0) There are many great and good people out in the world as you say, and just a few rotten apples! :0) Good wins!

  9. Hi there – thanks for the like on my blog!
    I’ve just started out and am quite happy just writing “for myself” but it was really nice and encouraging to get a like 🙂 so thank you! I have been enjoying reading your blog and absolutely love your photos. Particularly the horsey ones.
    Such gorgeous girls in these shots and I agree, this is what young teens should be like. Reminds me of what I was like at that age! Horses got me through a lot of tough times as a kid, and still do. I don’t know how I would cope coming of age in a world with this level of social media and life being acted out online. It is something I think younger users don’t realise the implications of, once you put something online it is out there forever, for all to see. I feel for your niece. I think there’s a lot of hope for her as she has a loving and supportive family.
    Monika

    • Thank you so much for reading. I have been telling my sister about all the amazing, kind people that are sending positive thoughts her way in such a dark time for them. So, I really really appreciate your comments for sure.She gets tears in her eyes and is touched by that. The internet can be such a useful tool for information but for these kids it can definitely spiral out of control and the implications are serious.
      I was checking out your new “peeps” this morning and I look forward to reading more! :0)
      Cheers!
      Kimberly

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