Last night we attended our local high school's graduation ceremony. We knew many of the youth graduating and expected to be there having a wonderful time, cheering everyone on and supporting our many friends who were celebrating their children's big milestone.
It was nice and yes we did cheer on many a friend's child as their names were read but we didn't expect to be sitting in the dirt on a hill to watch the procession. It wasn't the worst thing, sitting on the hill, but somehow we got stuck in ghettoville. It will never cease to amaze me the example some adults set for their children and the crazy behavior they exhibit in public. In our small area, we had children using foul language (I'm talking elementary age children), we had a lady light up to smoke and then get upset when another woman told her there were children around. Nevermind the children that are around, we are on school property which is a NO SMOKING area. At one point, a young boy about 6 or 7 was throwing rocks behind him...I was sitting behind him and I asked him to please stop throwing rocks. Immediately one of the young girls who had to have been around 10 looks at him and says loudly..."what that lady say to you??" while looking at me all crazy. I repeated to her what I had said to him and she quickly turned around but I could tell she was going to try and say something. What made the whole situation worse was that the adults with that group of children were sitting in the stands right next to us and they were just as loud and obnoxious as the children. They would get upset if anyone asked them to please sit down so others could see. They really felt like they were in the right and everyone else was wrong. It was just infuriating. We almost left but then I quickly remembered that our oldest son was playing in the band and we had brought him with us.
As we were leaving the graduation, a young girl was chasing another girl, threatening to beat her up. The bully had quite the following and there was a stream of 3 or 4 other students running along with her, chasing the other girl and a friend. There was ridiculous, vulgar language being thrown around and just a level of immaturity that didn't make sense to me. As we continued to walk to our car, the bullies were walking near us, talking loudly, dropping the "F" bomb like crazy people. These were young high school kids. As we continued to walk, Kevin politely reminded them that there were kids and families around and requested they watch their language. That resulted in two of the students going off into an "F" bomb rampage, rattling off how we lived in a free country and they had freedom of speech. I immediately wanted to go into my own rant about how in a few short years they likely wouldn't know what freedom meant as they would probably be hanging out in jail wishing they had the freedom they used to rave about.
It really just made me sad for my kids, as these are their peers and I hate that they have to be subjected to such behavior. What makes me proud though is that my kids are aware that they weren't exhibiting acceptable behavior. At one point, my 16 year-old made the comment, "isn't it crazy that that girl will be considered an adult in two years?". It is indeed my child, it is indeed.