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MY LIFE AS I LIVE IT

I'm a single mom with two great kids living near Dallas, Texas. This is my life; day to day things that are probably only important to me. This is my record of my ups, my downs and the road that I've taken along the way. For whatever reason YOU'RE here, I hope you find something you can enjoy and/or relate to. God bless.

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Location: Dallas, Texas, United States

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Parenting takes some balls

...seriously. It's hard, and it can be scary, and it's unbelievably frustrating. Sometimes all I can do is get on my knees, bury my head and give it up to God because, honestly, sometimes it's just more than I can bear.

This week I had to go through something I never, ever, thought I'd have to do. A couple of days ago I was rather frustrated from an errand I had to run after work (still dealing with CareNow, Satan's playground for workman's comp), and I came home to a mess in my house. Charlie started driver's ed this past Monday, and I was in a crunch to get him to class on time. I was tempted to not allow him to go to driver's ed because of his lack of consideration, leaving me a mess to deal with after working all day, but driver's ed isn't cheap and I hate to throw out $400 for a bad mood. So, I took the kid's cell phone away along with his computer privileges. Charlie doesn't talk back...okay, he's a teenager, but he rarely talks back. So, he handed over his cell phone with no complaints, but trust me, I know this had to rip his heart in two (he's a texter, after all).

After dropping him off at driver's ed, I heard his phone recieve a text and I read it. Yes, I did. As if my mood wasn't bad enough, what I read literally dropped me to my knees. It was from a friend of his and it was regarding the selling of drugs to another friend of his. My temperature is rising and I'm sure my face is flushed just thinking about it again. It was all I could do to keep from going up to driver's ed and pulling him out of class.

While I sat in the parking lot, waiting for him to get out of class, I read these texts I'd found on Charlie's phone a hundred times, trying to imagine it meaning something else. Anything but what I was sure it meant. When Charlie got in the car, I sat there for a minute and tried to breathe. I showed Charlie the text messages and he confirmed that yes, it was about drugs. One thing I'm very proud of my kids for is that they would rather get in trouble than lie...it's one trait I've worked very hard to pass on to them. He said that he wasn't involved personally. I questioned him about his ever, ever, doing drugs and he said no. I must not have looked convinced and he said 'Mom, you work at a doctor's office. Have me tested, do a urine or hair test.' I believe him.

But I still drove him and his cell phone to the police station.

At first Charlie was a tad shocked that I was going to take him and his phone to the police. But, I have always told them that if I ever suspected or had evidence of them doing drugs I'd call the police. Honestly, I always thought it was more of a scare tactic...an empty bluff. But when this happened, there was no way I was going to go home knowing that there was a sale of drugs at the high school and not do anything about it. I also wonder, just as a personal side note, how different my life may have been if my mom would have noticed once, just one single time, that I couldn't stand up straight, talk without slurring or walk through a door without running into it. Anyway, on the way into the police station, Charlie was telling me about how the friend that had sent the first text about bringing the drugs to school to sell, had fallen asleep in class earlier this week and they'd not been able to wake him up. What???

Once in the police station, they called down a detective to talk to us and I explained how I'd gotten a hold of the phone, read the text and confronted Charlie. They asked Charlie some questions and he was very respectful, gave them honest answers to what they asked and filled out a report. The dectective told me that he was so impressed with Charlie, how Charlie wasn't only respectful with him (the detective) but with me. He said that most kids whose parents bring them in refuse to talk, make eye contact or are hateful to the parents for dragging them in. When Charlie and I walked out of the police department, I told Charlie that I knew he was going to be mad at me for awhile, and this is what he said to me. "Mom, I'm not mad at you. If I had a kid that was having anything to do with drugs, I'd do the same thing."

I love this kid.

The police were waiting the next day when one of Charlie's friends got off the bus. They called in the other friend to the office. One of the kids will be going to an alternative school for a few weeks and the other one is hopefully scared straight...or straighter anyway. They asked Charlie if he knew anything about it, and he told them the truth. That his mom had confiscated his cell phone for not doing his chores, had then read their texts and taken both himself and his phone to the police station.

Another side note: a year ago this friend selling the drugs had been grounded from my house because I'd read on his myspace that he'd been drinking. I asked him about it , if he really drank like he put on his myspace or if he did drugs. He admitted to me that his relatives bought him alcohol and he did drink, but he didn't do drugs. I told him that if I ever saw him intoxicated that I'd not only report him but his relatives for supplying it to him, and I asked him if we were clear. He said 'yes ma'am'. Then I told him that if I ever had any reason to believe he was encouraging Charlie to drink or do drugs that I'd come after him with all that was in me. I asked him if he understood and he said 'yes ma'am'. Apparently he didn't.

13 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kathi, I've been reading your blog for a long time, but I've never commented before. You and I don't have much in common, except for having two boys for whom we would joyfully walk across burning coals. I'm commenting tonight because you need to know that I really wish there were more parents out there like you. You're strict and tough, but you do it out of love. You walk the talk. Earlier this week, my eldest used his "third strike" with me and I came down hard, confiscating his "stuff" until he earns it (and my trust) back. My husband commented later that he thought perhaps I had over-reacted. "It's not like we caught him smoking crack in the back alley." My reply was something to the effect that if that had been the case, I'd have hauled him down to the police station to be charged and taken him straight to a residential treatment centre from there. (Only with my luck, he'd meet Lindsay Lohan in group therapy.)
Kudos to you!

8:16 PM  
Blogger kathi said...

anon ~ your comment means more to me than I can express to you. Thank you so very much.

8:26 PM  
Blogger 3carnations said...

Wow, Kathi. I'm sorry that you had to go through that, but I'm thankful (though not as thankful as YOU, I'm sure) that Charlie isn't involved personally with drugs, and that you have raised him to be the kind of kid that accepts and respects that his parent has to do what you did in that situation. Most teenagers would be angry and resentful. I really admire that he won't lie - I feel the same way and hope to be able to pass that along to my son.

You guys made the best of an awful situation, and as usual, you kept cool and graceful. Way to go.

7:09 AM  
Blogger Shannon said...

Wow! You do have balls. I'm asking this with respect - aren't you afraid there will be repercussions with Charlie with the kids who use drugs at Charlie's school?

If I were in the same situation, I would have probably reported it anonymously. Here in our small town nothing would probably happen - just some ribbing from the other kids, and maybe it's like that where you are too, but still I'd be nervous.

You are such a great mom! Kudos to you.

8:54 AM  
Blogger ~Deb said...

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. The last sentence surprised me. But, thankfully you have one of the most honest sons out there - and if the last sentence baffles you as well as myself, I would give him the benefit of the doubt, since he really cooperated. I hope that everything is in fact, true. You're not only helping your son, you're helping other mothers and children out there that may slide through the cracks and not learn from their mistakes.

Your strength is amazing.

Love you!
{{hugs}}

9:10 AM  
Blogger The Real Kidd said...

Oh Kathi, I am so sorry that you had to do that. But I can’t tell you how proud I am of you for sticking to your guns. Lord knows it’s not easy to follow through when it comes to something like that. But it sounds like Charlie knows and understands that the only reason you did what you did was because you love him and want what is best for him. You truly are blessed honey. ((HUG))

9:32 AM  
Blogger Michelle said...

Wow, I think I'm in a state of shock!! First of all, I can't tell you how much I admire your strength and conviction on doing what was right in this situation. If I ever have to go through something like this with my children I hope that I am able to handle it in this same way that you did, and I hope I have your phone number handy in case I need your council. :)

Second, this once again shows what a good job you have done in raising your boys. The way that Charlie handled himself is amazing, and I'm sure that you are extremely proud of him for being so open and honest..I know I am.

10:11 AM  
Blogger kathi said...

3 c's ~ thanks, I'm sorry I had to go through it too. No lying here, it was hard. AND, make no mistake, Charlie is in serious trouble. He should never have had himself in this sort of situation. He's 17, he has got to learn that what he did yesterday and today is setting the pattern for his tomorrows.

2:51 PM  
Blogger kathi said...

shannon ~ absolutely. The police told Charlie not to tell anyone he'd talked to them, especially not until they'd talked to his friends. But, after the police had spoken with them both, one of them asked Charlie in class how the police had known and Charlie told them his mom had confiscated his cell phone, read his texts and taken him and his phone to the police. The blame is on me, and these kids aren't exactly boy scouts, lol...parking my car in the garage for awhile.
Reporting it anony...well...as much as it killed me to do it, I had to hold Charlie responsible for his part in it too. Believe me, I understand what you're saying.

deb ~ goof, go read it again. The last sentence wasn't about Charlie, it was the friend that was selling the drugs.
I love you too, sugar sugar...and I love the new pic!

kidd ~ I'm so proud of him for understanding and not blaming me in a negative way. That was pretty cool.

michelle ~ I've got no idea if I handled it well or not, but I sure do appreciate the encouragement here! Seriously, the next day there were a lot of tears for me...this was hard.
Secondly, don't give Charlie too much credit...let's keep in mind he was basically in the wrong, even if it was just a toe he'd dipped into the 'wrong side'...he was still mingling with them.
Thank you so much. Hon, I'll send you my phone number any time. Any time.

3:47 PM  
Blogger Keasty said...

...he has got to learn that what he did yesterday and today is setting the pattern for his tomorrows.

No Kathi, I don't agree entirely. We all make mistakes and I've made them and so have you.

I was picked up when I was about Charlie's age for shoplifting. A mega shock for my parents. I believe the way my parents handled it ensured that such behaviour was a one-off and didn't happen again.

What a fantastic thing to have loving, caring parents who look to God for their guidance in parenting their kids.

May God continue to guide you with His wisdom. Bless you.

This whole scene is gonna strengthen you as individuals and as a family and build a stronger bond between you. Say a special gday to Charlie from me please Kathi.

4:31 PM  
Blogger kathi said...

keasty ~ past mistakes are gone, bye bye, can't do anything about them...agreed. BUT, my point of view is that what you do will become the norm unless you change it. What you do today, if you do it tomorrow and next week, you'll be doing next month and next year unless you break the pattern.

By the way you've turned out, your parents were right on point.

6:02 PM  
Blogger LoveLladro said...

good for you for taking him straight to the police station and what a great kid for understanding and cooperating. more parents should be like you... i hope to be one of them!

4:15 PM  
Blogger Rosemarie said...

WOW! I'm learning about honor in a family and I can see that this is a foundational truth in your home.

You're one gutsy mom to bring your son and his cell phone to the police station.

12:33 AM  

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