It will happen eventually, I'm sure. One of my kids will do something that will have all the other kids looking askance at my kid and all of the other kids' parents looking askance at me. [Hell, at least I hope it is one of the kids and not me attracting all the negative attention.]
I have three very good kids. One or more of them might have issues at home, but they are all well behaved in school, they work hard to succeed at school, they are polite to adults (to whom they are not related), and two-thirds of them are always good to other kids (to whom they are not related). They aren't troublemakers in the outside world.
Good kids. Sweet kids. My level of trust in their sense of judgment has never been misplaced. Now, that doesn't mean I don't check up on them. Frequently. I'm grateful that Eldest has eschewed all that is Facebook. I hope he continues to wear that badge of a non-Facebook user with honor for many years to come. Daughter, alas, is a Facebook user. But she's a Facebook user with a mom who logs in as her all the time. And she's a texter whose parents review her texts. And I'm also not above listening outside her door while she's on the phone with the BEST BOYFRIEND EVER. [That last part isn't really necessary as volume modulation has never occurred to her.]
Earlier this week, a freshman boy at Eldest's high school sent a nekkid picture of himself holding his junk to a couple of girls. Those girls either forwarded it to other kids or showed the photo to other kids. The same kid, along with a few other freshman boys, rummaged through the belongings of one of the boys' mothers and found delicate items. It goes on. And it fires up and down the gossip power grid so that everyone hears about it and everyone knows about it except maybe the ones who should really know about it.
I cannot fathom what that boy's parents are thinking right now. There's more out there in the "public" domain that is high school, and that only adds to their struggles, I imagine.
I want to forever be in the realm of saying things like "I cannot fathom" when it comes to events such as these. That's my number one hope.
But my number two hope is that, if it is my kid down the road who does something astoundingly boneheaded, my friends -- and my enemies -- tell me about it as soon as they find out. Because what I've learned from this and another episode with another kid not that long ago is that we might disagree with adults on things, we might say we "hate" an adult with whom we have major disagreements, but we really don't wish for ill to befall any kid.
I'm grateful to have learned that lesson.