Wednesday, November 05, 2008

24 hour life span

So the hunt for Brandon Crisp ended today. CBC has been talking about it on and off all day long. The story scares me straight yo.

I remember having fights with my Mom over events that seemed so earth shattering when I was 13 through to 21. These issues seemed worth disrespecting her and the family over at the time. Tortured feelings and betrayals that serve as the fodder for comedy and poetry as an adult.

There by the grace of the fates go we. I think you can be the best parent you could possibly be but the mind of a teenager is a treachorous and monumental place where if you don't remain vigilant the stakes can rise to a dangerous level over the seemingly inane aspects of growing up.

Mom says that the reason we never ran away was because we always lived in the far north where running away meant having to negotiate -50C temperatures or black bug season both of which are dangerous in the bush.

I can only hope that when the day comes Fenner and I will be able to negotiate those conflicts equally as successfully.
**Thank you Emily for the dangerously cute picture of a 1 yr old.


Dr. Steph said...

I've been feeling icky and unsettled about this story too, probably because it makes me look at my own parenting. (I also had the cold and bugs to keep me home).

I really keyed in on the word "negotiate" in your post. I have no idea what Crisp's parents did or did not do (only about the fight over the x-box) but I think that negotiating is the key to it all.

It's a bit like Canada negotiating with the US in that, as the child, we realize we never really, totally get our way, but feeling respected and listened to is the part that makes us not want to put up a fence and be done with them forever.

As my oldest turns 10 (zero-teen as we like to say), I'm sowing the seeds so we can deal with the discontent in good ways later. Tough stuff this is.

Kim said...

I was step-mom to 3 kids for 3 years (common-law relationship...long story) about 10 years ago during a really rough time in their lives. Parents went through a messy divorce and the aftermath was not exactly friendly. The kids lived primarily at our place, and their father had severe depression issues. All this to say that I, for all intents and purposes, was a single parent to these kids. Who, biologically, were not mine.

I didn't know them at birth...really didn't know them till they were elementary school-age. I decided very early on in the relationship that I would treat them with respect, let them know that I expected the same treatment, and to try to really listen to them and hear what they were telling me and not discount it because they were 4 or 8 or 11... I also tried to make sure they were being heard by their real parents. It was seriously the hardest work I've ever had to do. Especially with the oldest (11 - 14, when I lived there), who was bound and determined to test not only his boundaries, but how far he could push us and still be loved. How far he could run and still have us come find him. It was also the most rewarding work I've ever had to do. At the end, I really didn't know if it made any difference though...until the oldest tracked me down about a year ago. Now I know. It can work. It made a difference.

Craftygrrrl said...

Chris and I have been discussing this particular situation since Brandon was first announced as missing and the reason why he left.

This truly is one of every parents worst nightmares.

Yvette said...

What I've come to realize, though not comfortably, is that 99.9% of kids make it through and that despite all our best efforts, vigilance and care, sometimes it comes down to luck. After we've done everything we can do as parents, we need to put our heads down and pray to the universe that our beautiful sons and daughters don't stumble into that bad situation that leads to tragedy.

meg said...

That is the most beautiful picture of Fenner... good lord, will she ever do anything bad? It just doesn't seem possible.

I've found the whole Brandon story very upsetting too. It's interesting how it all changes when you have a little peach of your own to guide along the way.

Lise said...

Feh. Calvin and I have be fighting like crazy lately. The day after Brandon Crisp disappeared, he said he wanted to run away. Now I'm the least panic-y parent, but I had a big discussion about "the plan" - what he'd do if he ran away, what he'd take, where he'd go. You gotta have a plan, dude. (And he's only 6 - imagine the future!)
I ran away a bunch of times when I was a teenager - mostly to the park up the street. What a tragic accident.