Been home now for a few weeks and it feels like we have never been away except for that tug every time I think of the magical moments of Doha. We have stepped into the realities of a 'free society' and all that comes with this idea. Our greatest concern is still with the teenagers. When you are surrounded by a world that encourages and endorses drinking, partying, sexual activity and mind-altering experiences of all kinds, it becomes very difficult for kids to make wise choices for themselves. Luckily we are able to talk freely with all of Jonah's friends who hang out here in large and small groups. They are all beautiful young men preparing themselves for that huge jump into adulthood with great excitement and it is so interesting to hear them speak about what is going on around them. It appears that regular alcohol use, drug experimentation and sexual activity amongst people as young as 13 is happening in their world on a daily basis. How hard it would be to resist joining the 'normal' expectation of this. What a huge problem for teachers, parents, caregivers and mentors to deal with. It seems that some parents don't even know what is going on or even encourage the idea of drinking to have fun! We can only be glad that we have shown our son another way of being and that we also have a strong line of communication still open between us. In the meantime we are vigilant and careful with him. We love it when he has a team of boys sleeping in his room and yet we are not so naive as to think that this is the way it will always be! Bringing up kids today is harder than ever.
The sun still shines and the birds still warble all around us as the whales swim on by, oblivious to the dangers of all of this! Off for my walk on the beach and a session with the acapuncturist, then a Latte Soy Dandelion (LSD) in my favourite cafe. Perhaps this 'alternate' way of life is filtering into my consciousness as well!