I can think of plenty of things to do when my daughter leaves for school in the morning. Throw myself a party and actually find time to brush my teeth among them. Setting up shop on the steps of my kids' high school and loudly praying for their safety has never crossed my mind, how about you? That's what just got a mom banned from the front steps of her kids' high school in New Hampshire.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation filed a complaint against Lizarda Urena and her displays on the front steps of Concord High School. It was enough to end Urena's daily prayers at school. But I can't help but wonder: did it really take a foundation to tell her this was a bad idea?
I'm not here to bash Urena's faith. If she really thinks that prayer can keep her kids' school free of gun violence, more power to her.
But I have to wonder what kind of mom thinks it wise to stand outside her kids' high school and do ANYTHING that draws attention to her. Gun violence is scary, sure, but it's -- thankfully -- rare in our high schools. Bullying, on the other hand, is at epidemic levels (or at least reporting of it is).
And there's nothing like being the kid with the freaky mom to put a giant target on your back.
Because Urena might see her faith as beautiful, and as an adult, as a mom, I CAN see the love behind it. But most teenagers won't see it that way. Think back to when you were a teenager. What would you have thought if you saw some random woman praying on the steps of an American high school every morning?
Now what would you have thought if she were your mom?
As much as I want to stand up and say that we all need to let our freak flags fly, the truth is, as parents, we can't. We have to hide some of it, at least when it comes to our kids. We need to respect that they have enough going on in their lives without having to defend us against a bunch of hormonal, short-sighted teenagers.
It's hard enough being a teenager, navigating the perilous halls of high school without dragging your parents' baggage with you on your back.
I understand the temptation to stand outside your kid's high school and do anything you can to keep violence at bay -- be it praying or standing as an armed guard or whatever -- but if there's one place our kids should be allowed to just be themselves, without us causing trouble, it's at school.
Do you think Urena was out of line?
Image via Ian Sane/Flickr