COVID-19 wasn’t the only disease after your teen, during this pandemic. It was one of many viruses lurking in their midst, spewing their contagion upon our unsuspecting, unprotected adolescents.
They were copious and clandestine infections, slithering into the minds of our youth, tempting them toward the darkness, luring them onto the edge.
They went by names like depression and anxiety and loneliness and fear were their posse. They hung out in our children’s rooms, taunting them with their freedom to come and go as they please, reminding them that no school bus comes today and likely not tomorrow. And for some kids, no bus meant no food and great sorrow.
Depression whispered doubt and distress, while anxiety brought anger and angst. They took quite a toll on the teens, so ready to spread their wings, but with nowhere to fly. Proms and graduations were their hostage, bound by a rope tied to their futures and their hope. When every day became like the next, some became sad while others were vexed. So, we gave them things to try to uplift them. With Amazon Prime we continued to gift them. But they were received with no joy and no gratitude, because they wanted out and they said so, with attitude. Other kids’ parents were less strict than theirs. They could have parties with no masks and no cares. So, parents became the enemy, the bouncer, the warden. What we called protection; they saw as a burden.
They stared at computers for hours of screen time, watched YouTube, Netflix and TikTok in the meantime. And when those outlets brought no satisfaction, vaping and smoking became an attraction. Athletics were modified, with no gym for release, which caused some to become seriously obese.
They held back our college kids, keeping them home, taking away their freedom to roam, delaying dorm life and the socialization of a student union. Internships were canceled and there were few opportunities for co-ops and community. Many gave up and withdrew or took gap years, as they doubted their futures and gave into their fears.
These diseases stood strong and held tight to one another, culminating in a mental health crisis like no other. A crisis of proportions never before seen, where you can’t see a therapist for months in between. And heaven help those who aren’t insured or wealthy, because it takes some money to stay mentally healthy.
Now with time and science, we’ve become wiser. We’re counting on Moderna, J&J and Pfizer. We’re looking for them to fight back at this virus, to knock out its posse, uplift and inspire us. Our teens need normal, and a return to class. They need friendship and counseling and they need it fast. So, we’re vaccinating, praying and holding our breath for an end to this virus and its cycle of death.
God, restore a hope for the future in our babies. Convince them their dreams are a yes, and not maybe. Restore to them the joy of their past, let them know that freedom is coming at last.
Delete the lies that the enemy has spoken and rebuild the things in their life that have broken. Give us the counselors, show us the tools, help us get back to full weeks at their schools.
We parents have struggled with the diseases they’ve sparred. And for the adults it’s been equally hard. We weren’t sure we were telling the truth when we said “you’ll be fine,” to our innocent youth.
Thank you for helping when we wondered whether, we would be able to hold it together. You protected us when the crisis was booming, and watched over each of our precious young humans.
Goodbye depression, anxiety and fear. Hope, inspiration and healing are here. And where they reside, there’s no room for you, so move back and watch, as our kids make it through.
For every momma and daddy’s heart, who has watched their kid struggle and been torn apart. I want you to be encouraged today. Things will get better; help is on its way.