When I hurt for my Children.

I didn’t tell anyone. My wife was standing behind me, but I wouldn’t let her see and I couldn’t let them know until after the fact. 

Sadly, it’s engrained in me to be strong and never let them see you shed a tear. Yesterday, I shed a few by myself. 

There are times when things happen well beyond our control. When they happen to me, I can usually let them slide. My age and experience being a good tool to gauge how to respond to things way out of my control. 

Apparently, I never learned how to cope with out of control matters that affect me when it comes to these instance happening to one of my children. 

My wife and oldest daughter had returned from church where our oldest had to fulfill her alter serving commitment. (Yes, girls can alter serve) my wife proceeded to tell me how our daughter’s friend bailed on her at the last minute. My daughter was hurt and it really hit me hard. 

It’s sad when our young children have to learn about convenient friends. You know the ones who only seem to be around when it suits them best. 

I can’t really place blame on my daughter’s friend as she comes from a broken home and is being sucked into a shitty lifestyle by other “friends.” In fact, I know how bad her other home life is that we’ve often talked about how we might be able to help. 

My daughter and she had been planning a sleep over for Saturday night. They had been planning it for six days. The friend cancelled at the last minute, most likely to hang out with more exciting friends.  My daughter left for church excited and returned a sad, bummed out fourteen year old who just had to experience a hard life lesson. 

I think one of the things that makes this hard, for me, is that my daughter and she become so close over the years that I often felt of the friend as daughter number four. I’d often found myself inquiring about her grades and how things were going at school and home. 

My daughter met this friend while playing softball where my wife was the coach. The friend was a quiet shy type and she and my daughter soon became as good as friends their age can be when they live in different towns and attend different schools. 

Over the four years they played on the same team, Friend became like a daughter to us. My wife stopped coaching this year and while they both made one team they tried out for, they didn’t both make the team my daughter ultimately chose. Maybe she felt abandoned by my daughter. We don’t know. 

They tried to remain steady friends but we could see them slowly drifting apart. We learned that the friend was no longer living in the safe home provided by grandma and grandpa. She was off living with a sister who gives her more freedom and is probably less strict. She’s running with the wrong crowd and, quite frankly, it’s going to cause her to live a long, hard short life. A life most likely filled with crime and drugs. 

Sometimes, we can’t protect our children’s feelings. Sometimes, we have to watch them suffer, and always, it will make me feel bad in my heart.