We lost another of our grungy, reluctant rock gods who ushered us into the 90s, one of the dirty boys who whispered through our earphones and ushered people like me through the Mickey Mouse surface-polished boy band years, who kept me safe and told me stories and filled my life with the dirty beats and grinding guitars that I craved.
But those boys don't always last. I don't know his story but I do know that we lost another great talent and the word is that it was self-inflicted. A friend shared this video on Facebook and it really struck me.
My generation was taught that "suicide is painless" and "it's better to burn out than fade away" and too many believed it and then there are those of us left behind, scraping up our pain like ashes flying away and we tuck them back in and pull the important things closer to help soothe that pain.
This GenX mom is parenting Generation-I-don't-know-what-they-call-them kids who are fierce and smart and take no bullshit. We're watching 13 Reasons Why together, even though it's the last thing I want to do, because I don't want them to watch it this summer when I'm working without some sort of debrief to discuss the heavy parts. I want them to have the proper context so, yes, I'm totally helicopter parenting them through it because they weren't raised like my generation was.
But my kids have seen some shit—their generation might be overparented and overprotected but real life slips in. And even though I'm the mom who talks about all the things with them, even though I'm the mom who tells them almost daily that I'm here; that I don't judge.
Still, they keep things from me.
They don't want me to worry.
So we talk about that, and about how it's okay if I worry—shit, I'm going to worry anyway, so might as well let me know what's up so I have something real to fuss over—worrying is what I do. As I see it, it's part of my job as their mom.
But I'm doing it wrong because that's how parenting works; I think I'm doing everything I can, but life is like Whack-a-Mole and as soon as I slap down one problem, more will pop up and I only have so many hands. And hammers. And I can't fix everything for them.
I. Can't. Fix. Everything. For. Them.
But I can give them the tools to overcome. I can teach them how to whack their own moles.
So, now we're watching the show about the big issues with the bullying and the suicide and the rape and I'm sad when they say that most of the things they're seeing don't shock them, because that's how it is in their schools. And I'm not surprised because that's how it was back when I was in school. A way long time ago.
Some things never change.
But I sure wish some things would.
Life is hard without making it harder on ourselves, on those around us.