For the Perfect Parents


You’ve probably heard the story about the desperate search for Austin and Perry.  It made headlines across the country mid-July 2015.  They live just a few miles from me.  As of today, agencies have pulled back from the search, but family, friends and others that want to volunteer are still doing so.  I have a friend that searches every morning 2 hours before he heads into work as a marine patrol police officer.  He’s not getting paid to do it.  He also keeps a look out when on the job.

I wanted to share what another blogger wrote about the debate going on whether the parents were neglectful allowing their “experienced” 14-year old boys to go out on their own on a 19-foot boat in the ocean possibly heading to the Bahamas in not ideal conditions.  In my opinion, I couldn’t have written the article any better myself (and that’s why I’m posting it, ha)!  I was one of those questioning the circumstances, all the while worrying and praying for those boys. The article truly HUMBLED me! Bad things happen even when we are (metaphorically) “best equipped”.  Unfortunately people turn to the easiest thing during times of tragedy – they turn on each other with blame and “what if’s”. The hardest part is accepting the circumstances, love on the ones hurting, and even still harder . . . humbling yourself.  So, check out the article below:


For the Perfect Parents

Let me start off by saying this:

I don’t know Austin and Perry’s family personally. I don’t know the children. I have connected friends, family and community members but I have probably never laid eyes on either of those boys.

I don’t know exactly what all was on board the boat. I don’t know precisely what safety equipment they had or didn’t have. I don’t know how much training the boys had or even how much experience they had.

I don’t know for sure where the boys were going or what their plans were for the day. I don’t know if they planned on fishing just a few miles out or if they really thought about going all the way to the Bahamas.

And frankly, I don’t care.

Those simple, stupid arguments are only for the fortunate perfect parents who have perfect kids who have always made perfect decisions and adolescent children who have never pushed a boundary, broken a rule or attempted the inane.

I’m not in that crowd. Never have been since week one in my parenting. 

You see, if you have no children or if you have young children, you can cluck your tongue and reason away this tragedy as though it could have been avoided “if only.” If only they had been equipped, trained, obedient or whatever it is that you bloody THINK you know. And you’d be a damn fool.

Trust me, tragedy happens anyway.

Grown men who’ve captained larger vessels have been taken down by lesser circumstances and stranger twists of fate. Could this have been avoided? We’ll never know. That’s not the reality of the situation anyhow so any Monday morning quarterbacking only makes you a jerk, not an empathetic “could’a been me as a teenager a number of times” human having love and deepest sympathy and regard for these precious families now facing the stark consequences that a South Florida summer storm can wreak. All of you casting your stones forget that an able bodied adult was also lost at sea in that same storm on another small craft. No one calling for the arraignment of his wife or family.

Austin and Perry have brought me to prayer every hour of every day since the moment their situation went public. I have kids. I know kids. I was a kid. I am only here today because on any number of occasions tragedy turned away…

It’s like when some precious toddler gets accidentally left in a car…or some three year old wanders off into a lake…or some teen drives recklessly costing lives and heartbreak.

Should we cast stones at the heartbroken?

Mistakes happen.

Accidents happen.

Kids obey, sometimes they don’t. Sometimes they sorely misjudge a situation. Sometimes tragedy strikes even with all the right equipment and best preparation. Those of us who’ve been around the block a few times choose to look lovingly at those who have suffered such heartbreak and walk with them in prayer, humbly realizing that at any given point it could be us needing the love and support.

Credits: Lyette Reback
The Rebacks

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