It’s Wednesday, and as usual, every week I look for stories to share, whether from people in my own life, or people out in the world, who are WARRIORS. What is a WARRIOR? Well, it could be anyone really, but it’s typically someone who is working hard to overcome some obstacle in their life, or doing something remarkable to help others. Should be fairly simple to find them you would think, but sadly, it’s a weekly struggle. Sure I could give you tales of sweetness, like the one about the little girl whose ice cream cone fell to the ground. She’s standing there in tears, looking from the melting ice cream on the pavement to her best friend who is holding tightly to her own cone. The best friend, without hesitation, offers a lick and says “We can share!” How sweet, right? Except it isn’t true, it didn’t happen, I made it up. I have hope that it would happen, but it’s hard to maintain that some days, especially when I am reading horror stories. Yes, it’s true, there is a story surfacing now about a couple of twelve-year-old girls who lured another girl into the woods so they could stab her with the ultimate goal of killing her, in the name of some made-up character online called, Slenderman. What shook me to the core, as if these pre-teens plotting to murder a friend wasn’t enough, was that I knew exactly who this made-up character was! I sat there in awe reading the story, because my kids have talked about it and shown me videos, and I am left thinking, what went right in my house, and what went horribly wrong in the homes of those girls. My oldest came home a long time ago talking about Slenderman, and showing these truly creepy videos. At no time, NO TIME, did it ever occur to him, that he should borrow a kitchen knife, lure a buddy into Central Park and stab him 19 times. At no time, NO TIME, was I ever concerned that he would. And as I sit here writing and watching news clips, I realize that my son actually went dressed as Slenderman two Halloweens ago.
That’s something creepy right there for sure, now that this character has been associated with an awful, unspeakable true crime, as opposed to fantasy. But again, I wonder what must have been happening in the homes of those 12-year-olds, that no one noticed. They allegedly planned for months what they were going to do, and no one noticed. Am I pointing fingers at their parents, their other friends and neighbors, their schoolmates, teachers, etc.? You’re damn right I am!! I am no expert, but I would venture a guess that in most violent crimes committed by young people (and there have sadly been so many lately) there are signs, there are clues. Where are their WARRIORS? Who is protecting them? Who is guiding them and teaching them? I am not a perfect parent, I know my kids will make choices in their lives that I won’t agree with, but I would like to think that if heaven forbid one of them was in a place where they might hurt themselves or someone else, that I would know about it, and do something about it! I am WARRIOR to my children, and the children of my friends, and the children in my community, and you should be too!