Lessons from Health Class…
My (almost 15 year old) son came home with an assignment that really got me thinking this week. He had to write out for Health class what his views and thoughts were on dating and relationships. If he brought his assignment back with a parent’s signature on it he got extra credit. His teacher said it was his way of getting kids to talk with their parents about topics that may be difficult or awkward. His assignment starts with these words… (he gave me permission to share this)…
I believe that people should date each other in order to get know each other better, find out if the affection they feel for each other is real and will stay, and to enjoy one another. The characteristics of someone I would want to date is that they are Christian, smart, adventurous, like to spend time outside, are not against hunting, are somewhat fit, are dating not just to date (they are dating to get to know me), are family oriented, and that understand the police/first responder family life.
He goes on to describe some activities he thinks are good to do, what he feels our guidelines are as parents for his dating life and what he has set as his own personal standards for a dating relationship.
I must say I got emotional as I read it. It has always been my hope and prayer to be the best mom I could be and to raise my kids “right”. I want them to choose appropriate behaviors because THEY think it is right, not just because it is what Mom and Dad say is right. I look at my “baby” who is about to turn 15 and I thank God for blessing us with such an amazing young man. I pray for him as he grows up in a world that just keeps getting more and more evil, and I pray he holds true to the standards he has set for himself. But while reading his assignment, one thing caught my attention… I wondered what exactly he meant by she will “understand the police/first responder family life.” So…I asked him. My husband and I were there with him so I asked my son what he meant when he wrote that. He explained…
“I want her to know the type of life we live. I want her to know that if you say we need to do something or I need to be somewhere, I need to do it. She needs to understand that we live a little differently than most families and I want her to understand that if we have to go…we have to go.”
Imagine my awe at his thought process. I never really thought about things like how us being a LEO family would affect things like our son’s dating life. He opened my eyes to a whole new world and thought process. Our children are a reflection of us, and the choices we make affect them in ways we don’t even think about.
When I married my husband he was working on a farm. I never lived as the kid of a LEO and I don’t have the knowledge of what that feels like. My husband got into law enforcement one month before our first son was born so that is all our kids have ever known. What a mind blowing thought for me to think that my husband’s law enforcement career is shaping them into who they will be and that includes their future spouses and eventually their children and extended families. Our LEO life reaches into our boys’ personal lives. I never saw it that way until my son opened my eyes.
People outside of law enforcement sometimes have a hard time understanding why we do things the way we do. I am very vigilant and watchful. I am always scanning for danger and watching people. I am always looking over my shoulder and choosing my restaurants, driving routes, routines, etc. with care. People don’t know some of the things we know. People don’t see the evils we see, but that is how it should be. Law enforcement families know more about the dark side of life than anyone should have to, but knowing my son gets that and is thinking about how that will follow him in life makes me wonder…what else has he picked up that I don’t fully grasp?
How does he see me in my Christian walk?
What does he think of how I treat others?
Am I being a good example of kindness, compassion, strength, encouragement and love?
How is who I am and who are family is, shaping him into the man he is becoming?
The past few months have been pretty busy and crazy around our house. I feel like I’ve failed so many times at being the “best” mom I could be, but this health assignment has brought me back to a good place of realizing that there are always eyes watching me and the person I am, even within my four walls.
Thinking about my son dating used to scare me. I didn’t think I was ready to move into that phase of being the mom of a young MAN, but now I am more at peace about what is to come.
Who knew a high school health assignment could do so much for me? Thank you, Mr. Health Teacher, for providing those “awkward” conversations that turn out to be not so awkward after all! We have always had open conversations in this home and I am now ready to keep working on being a better me, so when my son does bring home that special young lady, she too will see what our family is like and how we live. She will need to understand that things are a little different for our son, living in a LEO family, but I am confident that any girl my son chooses will already know what she is in for. I just have to make sure I live up to the standards my son has set and don’t let him down. Sometimes I wonder who is teaching whom in this home…this week, it is my son teaching ME!
Health class picture found at:
Ripples picture found at: http://cdn1.theodysseyonline.com/files/2016/02/13/63590923851571493549820049_ripple.jpg