“I was the best mother I knew how to be,” said Sue Klebold on a recent TV interview. Sue Klebold, mother of Dylan Klebold, Columbine shooter, is speaking out after seventeen years since that fatal day on April 20, 1999. We all watched in horror and asked ourselves, “How could this happen?”
How does a baby grow into a killer? How?
As a parent we believe if we do our best and love our children, everything will be fine.
Or will it?
This is what Sue Klebold thought, but things didn’t turn out okay at all. We can all point fingers and say, Well, she must not have been the best mother. And while even Kelbold has one major regret (which I’ll get to at the end of this post), it’s always easy to be on the outside of a situation and point in judgment.
What parent hasn’t struggled?
Any parent knows, being a parent is the absolute hardest job ever… EVER! And it never stops.
From the day you find out you are going to be a parent anxiety and fear can begin to take over. Will the baby be okay, will they be “normal”? Will I be a good parent?
After the child is born there are long days and nights of checking, feeding, crying. Even while they sleep we fear, Are they breathing?
When they become mobile a whole new set of concerns pop up, dominated by the thought of, Where are they?
When we have to release our child to the care of another whether for school, church, or outside activities we fear Are they safe? Are they being treated fairly?
By the time they reach adolescence a whole new set of unimaginable concerns and fears emerge. We pray, God, please, help them make good choices!
The first time they take the car out, we wait anxiously listening for sounds of the car’s return, the slam of the car door brings intense relief.
We hope that when they leave our home—whether for college or to start life on their own—our anxieties and concerns will be lessened and we can rest on the “good job” we did as a parent. Oh how I wish this were true. After they leave regret can set in focusing in on all of our mistakes, and wishing we could somehow turn the clock back and make it all…well…better.
There is no doubt about it—being a parent is hard.
And no matter what, we always love. We love our children with all that our hearts can grasp. If our hearts could expand even an inch larger, we’d fill it with more love for our children.
When Sue Kelbold was asked, “Do you still love Dylan?” she replied emphatically, “Absolutely. Every minute of every day.”
Instead of pointing fingers, as fellow parents, let’s extend grace to one another. How about we cheer each other on? When we see that child throwing a fit in the grocery store over the Bubblicious® refrain from judgmental looks. Instead, say a prayer for that fellow parent, or say, “Hey, great job! Keep it up!”
Be understanding when people confide about struggles with their kids–this is not a time for condemnation. How about we all recognize that we are all doing the best that we can and support each other?
When a teen doesn’t get into the best college try refraining from asking, “What was his/her SAT score?” Really? As if a better school means somehow you were a better parent. That’s ridiculous!
Parents, let’s praise one another. Cheer. Clap. Unite. Encourage. Our job as a parent is tough and we all need encouragement!
Is love enough?
“I believed my love was protective,” Sue Klebold stated.
Don’t we all believe this on some level? We believe if we love our children with all we have they will turn out okay.
The sad truth is sometimes things go very wrong—tragically wrong. God has allowed US choices, and those same choices are free for our kids too. “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast (Ephesians 2:8-9). God tells us we are saved by grace, NOT WORKS, and yet when it comes to our children we think our works somehow apply.
Sue Klebold said, if she could say something to her son, this is what she would say:
“It never occurred to me to have any conversations about what’s going on in your head. How do you perceive life? Do you feel sometimes that you’d rather not be here?”
And the single biggest regret of her life?
“I never had a conversation like that with Dylan, and I so deeply regret that I did not.”
She had no idea that her son felt alone and worthless.
What can we learn from the evil that occurred on April 20, 1999 and a succession of other similar tragedies?
First, let’s remind ourselves to show love, support, encouragement, and to refrain from judging another parent.
Talk with your kids.
How well do you know your child?
Put the time in to understand who they are.
We need to make time for the most important people in our lives.
Ask How are you? often.
Sue Klebold has written a book titled, A Mother’s Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy. She has become part of the Suicide Prevention Coalition and is donating all of her proceeds from the book to support suicide prevention.
Click the Amazon ad on this site and order her book today.
Until next time…
Show love with your time.