I don’t know how…or when…or if it is just “me” being “old”.
I just know I’m deeply sad and torn and angry.
It seems I’m going to have to consider watching “13 Reasons” with our twelve year old son Brody.
My sweet boy, the one who still gets a kick out of farting in my direction because he knows it drives me crazy.
This amazing young spirit who still enjoys playing with his Legos and building things and who gets dorky and giggly when chasing his buddies around the house shooting Nerf guns at each other.
Brody is the kid who will bust out dancing with no provocation, roll his eyes, wiggle his hips and bask in the laughter of adults and kids around him. He knows he’s funny and goofy and he doesn’t care. He’s just being himself.
But now “13 Reasons” is THE show his friends are watching. It’s the show the parents are all saying “Oh my God, we have to watch this with our middle school kids because they need to know these things and understand these things.”
We watched the first episode with him and both my husband and I, without consulting Facebook or a therapist or a school official or another parent, looked at each other and said “hell no, this isn’t appropriate.” I watched the second episode and felt even more confident in this response.
We went to bed feeling good about our decision because we didn’t give it a second thought.
Fast forward two days and it sounds like it’s the magical time when we need to let our son watch teenagers smoking weed out of a bong, ramming their hand between the legs of an unwilling female victim and, if what is coming down the road in this series is all that I’ve read, it’s time for him to witness violent rape and a drawn out, bloody suicide.
Because this is the reality of the world we live in.
Here is my question: is it necessary to watch this with him in order to discuss bullying, being there for your friends, and knowing that he can come talk to his parents or another trusted adult if he’s struggling or sees someone else struggling?
I spend every day of my life thinking about how to be a better parent; reaching out to my kids, even though it drives them crazy…paying attention to who they are hanging out with, learning who the parents of those kids are and asking them about their devices…peeking at their devices…monitoring their grades…sneaking talks with other moms to compare what they are hearing…emailing teachers if I have a question. Even with all that, it’s necessary to sit and watch rape, drug use and bloody suicide before he even finishes his FIRST YEAR OF MIDDLE SCHOOL?
I need some time. This one is really bothering me.