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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Tell Them You're Proud

I’m signed up to receive email versions of the campus emergency text messages from my kid’s college. Class cancellations, stranger-in-the-dorm incident warnings, missing person reports.

One Saturday morning this past winter...
...I got the message that authorities were looking for a kid last seen at 2 a.m. the night before. Saturday afternoon I got another message that the search continued. Saturday night, late, I got the message the kid had been found. Dead.

My heart breaks for the kid’s parents. They let their kid go out into the world and he’s not coming back. You raise them the best you can and you try to tell them everything they need to know. Everything you know. As she’s walking out the door, if you’re like me, you’re chasing after her, saying, “You know this, right?” “You know that?” “What would you do if this happened?” And most of all “you know I’m proud of you, right?”

I don’t know all the details about what happened to this kid, and I wouldn’t write about that even if I did. But his story made me ask those questions all over again. “You know I believe in you, right? You know I love you no matter what, right?”

How did I feel when I got an email message from my kid the next day? Happy. Relieved. Grateful.

-Elaine Jack, Assistant Editor, Today's Family magazine


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