Debuting our children....

Quinceanera....a beautiful occasion to present one's daughter to the world to be seen forevermore as a young woman. Today I had the auspicious privilege of speaking to thirteen young ladies and an assortment of their mothers, fathers, and grandmothers. Before my presentation time, I sat in fear - praying that I would deliver words that were meaningful. The first thing I did was to turn off the bright overhead lights. I surveyed the room, found, and opened up all six blinds to allow the sun to bathe the room in soft light. I then turned on a soft relaxing music piece from YouTube. I breathed deeply and slowly, counting the beats and exhaled just as slowly, allowing the cleansed air to purify my thoughts and body. They trickled in slowly. It was time....

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As a high school teacher of many Hispanic teens, I do know how difficult life is for today's high schoolers. Heck, it's stressful for me to teach 7 periods in a row. It's overload at best, and just plain wrong on another level. Imagine going to 7 different offices and having new rules in each one each hour. By the end of the day, any adult would be ready to scream. Yet we know it is wrong. We know research says teens should not have to go to school at 7 or 8, yet we do it. The almighty bus barn has power over us. We just continue serving what we serve despite research. Despite good sense. Despite human kindness.

Then imagine these kids who are Catholic, Mormon, Muslim. . . . their very religious beliefs are attacked in public. How can we expect these tender youth to stand up for what they believe in? Or maybe they are escorted to the dark side to not believe what their families and church do believe. It's a slippery slope out there and the one thing I can tell parents is that they need to communicate with their teens. They need to understand the stress these children are enduring. And they need to approach any decision, rule, moral, etc., with love. With patience and understanding....Perhaps then their children will continue the traditions forged by the family.

Love is the answer. It is the only reason we are  here on earth. If we fail to love, we have failed to live. If we believe in God and God is love, then aren't we being God-like when we love one another? It is time to put aside the hate. The anger. The meanness. Let's teach our children to dialog without negativity. We can agree. We can disagree, but we need to learn to do it with civility and respect. I am praying for our youth today. You are amazing. You are safe. You are good. You are loved.

Happy planning your Quinceanera, girls! You are amazing and it is my privilege to be a small part of your lives.

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