Columbine Still Haunts

I’ve been listening to the book Columbine, by Dave Cullen. It’s disturbing and chilling—and, as the dad of two teens, familiar.

Because there is a curtain that adolescents draw down to obscure your view of them. They are trying on new identities and thinking new thoughts and feeling new things—things they don’t often want to share. They are deceptive and manipulative. Even the good ones. I believe wholeheartedly that my boys are growing into fine young men. But you never really know what’s rattling around in the places that they don’t talk about.


Reading about the mass killing reminds me that I need to stay as tightly attached to my boys as possible. And that even then, there are things that go through a young man’s mind that you can only know in retrospect.

So you hold your breath, and try always to help them find theirs. And say your prayers at night.

Here’s one prayer, from Khalil Gibran.

Your children are not your children
They are the sons and daughters of life’s longing for itself
They come through you but they are not from you and though they are with you
They belong not to you
You can give them your love but not your thoughts
They have their own thoughts
You can house their bodies but not their souls
For their souls dwell in a place of tomorrow
Which you cannot visit not even in your dreams
You can strive to be like them
But you cannot make them just like you
Strive to be like them
But you cannot make them just like you

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