I was touched by the statement of the shooter's family in Arizona. I have sympathy for what they are going through. It's tough being a parent. Not all parents feel this much anguish for what their child has done, but we've all known the dissappointment our children can cause alongside the pride.
When that little one comes home there is such joy and expectation. All parents want to be proud parents. They want their children to live better lives than they did. We want to look back in our waning years with fond memories, grand children and great grandchildren all living their lives fullfilling the American Dream.
There's one big problem. It's call free will.
Kids not only don't come with an instruction manual they have a mind of their own and tend to makes bad choices. They never pick the right kind of friends or choice in mate. They won't listen to reason or instruction from you.
A parents love is unconditional, but it can be very painful. It's hard watching them make wrong choices and you can't do anything to stop them or keep it from happening. The hardest part of being a parent is having to pick up the pieces of a shattered life. It's little comfort to remember how many times your parents had to pick up the pieces of your life, but it is good experience.
Sometimes those choices get them in trouble. Think of all the men and women in prison who have loving fathers and mothers wishing their children made better choices and are now suffering the consequences. I think of the parents of the women whose bodies were found in a mass grave on the west side of my town who had such high hopes only to feel the pain of them leaving them twice, once when they chose drugs and streetwalking and then when notified of their deaths.
I love my two children and three grandchildren. They come with equal measures of pride and worry.