Our deaf son Skylar was invited to one of his old deaf friend's apartment for a 4th of July get together. This little bunch of hearing impaired friends go back to elementary school days; they all stay in touch and meet every once and a while to catch up.
Similarly, Al's 10 year high school reunion happened a couple of weeks ago; he graduated from a Catholic high school, considered one of the top in the country. Two of our boys we sent to Catholic school, the other two (Isaac and Sky) went to a fundamentalist Baptist school. A couple of times we tried them at the public schools during their early years, but I was usually fairly quick in the Principals' office complaining about the garbage and propaganda being "taught" . . . and pulling them out--so my wife and I (sacrificed new clothes and vacations etc. and) found the best pertinent private schools we could and, according to each child's individual needs and abilities, we went with that. We also home schooled a few times when necessary. [The public schools were and even more are an unmitigated disaster and threat to children. And even the Catholic school was starting to go "wonky" and beginning to teach stupid stuff like "creative math" . . . "whole language" . . . graphic sex-ed and environmentalist agitprop. . . .]
Anyway, that's not the issue I'm commenting on here, but rather I wanted to just note how our boys' friends have fared through the years since high school as well as our own and perhaps why. . . .
Sky came home from the 4th of July deafy party a bit saddened and disturbed. More than half, I dare say, of his childhood friends have gone gay. Almost all the girls are now lesbians, he said. All but himself are into alchohol and pot. He doesn't touch the stuff and never has. He said also they it was if they were all in a trance of sorts. He would try to talk to one of them he hadn't seen in a while and it was as if they didn't know him and they were distracted and apathetic. Few of them had jobs. Sky easily has the best job of them all as he has not bounced around, but stuck with his employer going on 7-8 years--at Costco. They all have stayed pretty much in the same mindset of just being "partiers", looking for the next "good time", posting on Facebook--a few have illegitimate kids and have been in trouble with "the law." They all seem to just bounce from thing to thing, aimlessly, living for today, with no transcendental meaning or purpose. . . .
Overall . . . it was striking to him, as he related it sadly to us . . . how lost they all are; and, we noted, how "together" he is by comparison. And it reiterated to him how, even though his life is fairly monotonous and lonely (because so many of his age group are similarly confused, lost and drifting so he doesn't want to hang out with them and just mostly works, works out and spends time with us) . . . the stable, sober life he leads is far preferable to the flaky, flighty, Godless, pointless, pleasure-seeking life that the others are caught up in--enslaved to. . . .
Alexander, at his reunion experienced similar disappointment. For one thing, out of a class of around 250, only 8 people showed up! We figured because of Facebook, Twitter and such . . . that everybody already knows what everybody else is doing, so there is no need to meet in person anymore to catch up. But Al was disappointed, as were the other 7 nonetheless, because still, there ought to be, they felt, a modicum of interest and respect enough for each other--you would think--to meet in person, face to face. . . .
He found that anyhow, of those that did show up . . . not much had changed. Oh, yeah, they had gone here and there, tried different jobs--a few had stable, good jobs now . . . but he too was a trifle sad and discouraged that no one there, besides himself, had really changed all that much. It was startling too, he said, how little they knew or cared about what was going on in the country and the world. For instance, they had never heard of the "tea party." They had no idea what the current regime is doing to our country nor the seriousness of the social issues and values that are so rapidly deteriorating. Just clueless . . . and so focused on their own little bubble of self-serving reality . . . that it could be the verge of WWIII (which it probably is) . . . and a shrug and look of indifference would be the response. . . .
We have also bumped into a few of Jackson and Isaac's (our two youngest boys) old friends. Jack and Ike did go to a public high school, which was fairly decent, and full of mostly affluent Mormon kids. They were easily the most dysfunctional bunch of families and children we have observed along the way. Many divorces, kids on drugs and drinking, stealing . . . although most still managed to show up to "church" on Sunday and quite a few went on "missions."
When our boys brought their friends around from that school . . . we were always on good terms with them--and we were careful not to say what we thought about Mormonism, out of respect for their parents, even though we could see that that was the source of their rabid dysfunction, for the most part. Of course, some of their parents showed no such respect for us and early on started "fellowshipping" Jackson, to try and turn him to "the church." We didn't know how much they had been working on him until it was too late, and, as you know, he surprised us one day with "I'm getting baptized in the Mormon church."
Occasionally, we run into J and I's old friends from that town and school . . . and they are as lost and confused and adrift as Al and Sky's old friends appear to be. Now, I'm not saying 100% all of them, of course, but in general ... the majority . . . are just scraping by . . . with little to no hope or purpose in life. Several of them have parents that have been divorced and married 1-3 times just since high school, with all kinds of chaotic new "blended family" situations. [The Mormons seem to be faring the worst at keeping their marriages and families together.] Their kids also, when they do get into drugs and drink, seem to be the most extreme--delving into heroin, pills, pot and even dealing. More than a couple have been to jail repeatedly and/or juvenile correction. . . . Not one of our boys have had trouble in those areas, praise God--the times are so rough right now. . . .
The biggest difference I see in the way we raised our children compared to these others . . . is simply that we REALLY . . . ACTUALLY . . . believe in God. Jesus. Obviously, just going to "church", whether Roman Catholic of L.D.S. has not instilled in the others any real, authentic love and reverence for God. Staying focused on the other worldly purpose and meaning attendant this life . . . has given our boys the resultant self control and respect . . . to keep them from floundering and following the crowd that is going nowhere. . . . Paradoxically, as we have always emphasized the spiritual over the material aims in this life, our boys are doing just fine materially, as much as can be expected in this collapsing Marxist economy, while those who have been drawn to the "get rich quick" menatality or trudging goal-lessly through the communist propaganda university system . . . are mostly stuck still at square one, with the only excitement or hope . . . being the next party or club scenario.
Jesus . . . in our lives, and the power and direction and protection of the Holy Spirit--FOR REAL--has made all the difference; and I give Him all the credit.
Meanwhile, the fruits of Humanism, post-modernism, new agey self-centered feel goodism, homosexualism, fame and sex and party-time obsession. . . is proving tragic and disastrous. . . .
Anyway, since I don't do Façadebook or Twitter, I'm using this little spot to share for a moment our family update and status. Alexander is climbing the ranks into leadership of his wild-land fire fighting crew with an eye towards eventually getting on at a department; Sky is continuing and excelling in the meat department at Costco, body building on the side--hard worker like Al . . . Isaac is becoming a decent online Christian/reformed apologist, heh . . . and along the way I'm teaching him some things about the painting trade . . . and Jackson is working on an album with his band, Westward the Tide, who are creating some buzz in the industry and I who I wouldn't doubt may hit the "big time" as a lot of new bands have broken out of this area . . . like Imagine Dragons, Royal Bliss, and Joshua James (who is producing them). . . . Myself, I am still hoping to do something in "Christian music"-record and EP or album . . . and perhaps perform eventually . . . and continue to write . . . as far as time and resources allow, if it be His will . . . . . . And my wife and I and Isaac, and Al all are each ongoingly witnessing to those friends and family and occasional strangers, telling of the Gospel, working on roughly 6-7 folks at the moment who are showing interest and who we would love to see saved.
God bless and onward!... my fellow soldiers! :)