Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: FERHOODLE (confuse or mix-up) (03/03/16)
TITLE: For the Sake of the Children
By Marlene Bonney
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The 3rd grade students at McCarthy Elementary had one week to complete their “Family Tree” homework assignment and parental complaint e-mails overflowed the teacher’s inbox overnight:
“There aren’t enough spaces.”; “You’re kidding, right?”; “We need a spreadsheet for all the family ties.”; “This task is impossible to finish in just one week.”. . .
Re-blended families have become a tangled mass of broken promises, poor choices, and frayed relationships that would take a Harvard graduate to unravel. No wonder their children are confused, depressed and angry, innocent victims of behaviors and selfish ambitions beyond their comprehension. It should not surprise us when they take the path of least resistance as an opiate to manage their muddled emotions.
Convoluted brews of divorce and loss—yielding ex spouses, half and step brothers and sisters, step mothers and fathers and part-time parenting—wrap our children into darned fabrics of fragmented relationships. Unstable, wondering who they really belong to or who really belongs to them, the innocent children are the sacrifices offered up to the gods of self-centered actions of biological parents. Although they try to appease their consciences with mandated custodial visits and new relationships for their children, these are poor substitutes for the real thing and many kids are only reminded that they have part-time caretakers. Exes try to make up for lost time by showering their kids with gifts and week-long vacations during their visitations. But their consistent presence is what these children need, not Skype-ing, phone calls and scattered moments of contact.
This generation’s children grow up questioning their self-worth and wonder why they were not good enough to deserve Daddy’s or Mommy’s full-time devotion and attention. Most of them, at one time or another, feel like the absent parent divorced them as well as the present parent; that, if they had been good enough, talented enough, pretty or handsome enough, they would not have been abandoned. They dream of reconciliation that will never happen and are shattered when it doesn't. Their little hearts ache for the family they can never have, and the intertwining of all these loose threads snarl like rats’ nests in a little girl’s unkempt and matted hair. Mommy’s boyfriend and her baggage of children from a previous marriage, Daddy’s girlfriend and her children from a severed relationship add to the fractured family unit and are labeled with “Uncle Jimmys’” or “Aunt Jennys’” serving only as Band-aids on gaping wounds.
God intended marriage between one man and one woman to pro-create and make a family unit that is loving and safe and secure. People only fool themselves when they try to make it something is definitely IS NOT. The children are the ones to suffer from same-sex marriages that confuse their own sexual identities as they are forming, not to mention the adult partners adopting children already damaged from previous lives of neglect, abuse and/or abandonment, further confusing their psyches.
These kinds of parents think of themselves first, putting their unmet needs before the needs of their children—how selfish is THAT?! (Of course, the exception is in separating the original family because of abuse for the sake of the children’s safety.) The breakdown of the family that is contrary to what God intended, leads to a sick society and the demise of civilization. The elevation of sex through television sit-coms, the promoting of homosexuality as just an “alternate lifestyle” indoctrinates our kids that this smallest percentage of a people is the norm. Add to the mix schools teaching the same message that has been pressed into its curriculum by left-wing agendas and our children’s brains are as knotted up as Grandma’s left-over yarn basket after kitty got a hold of it. . .
Miss Edwards gathered up the pages of complicated “Family Trees” of her students, shaking her head at the erasures and terms addressing the children’s complex labyrinth of relationships in their little lives.
“After a lot of thought and complaints from parents, I have decided to eliminate the annual “Family Tree” project from our required course of study, and moved it over to an “extra-credit” possibility,” Miss Edwards explained to the School Board, “and I would recommend that we consider curriculum that addresses today’s issues of these expanded familial ties.”
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