ETA: The links aren’t working. Too much traffic, perhaps. Here’s what happened: http://parenting.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/05/03/parenting-an-addicted-child/. Henry died yesterday.
The thing with parenthood is, you don’t know on Monday when you chastise your daughters for cutting off all their Barbies’ hair that on Tuesday you’ll discover that one of them has cut up her Tinkerbell dress. And you’ll wish you had known, because if you had you would have taken away the scissors on Monday. Or made the punishment stricter, or the lecture longer. And maybe it would’ve prevented Tinkerbell’s demise.
And you won’t know, when your teenage son confesses to marijuana use, whether it’s simple experimentation or the first step on a tragic journey. If you’d known, maybe you would’ve done it differently. But even then, you wouldn’t know for sure whether it was working, or where the road was leading.
Obviously, those two things are not the same. It’s just:
You make the best choice you can make, today, with the information at hand and the emotions of the moment. And you pray that someday it’ll all make sense. And you let another mother’s tragedy break your heart a little, because she is brave and her son was beautiful and no matter how she got there we are all in this together.