Tuesday, December 9, 2008

A proud parent moment

I always knew that my goal in life was to get married, have kids and adopt. I just always knew that I was going to do that, it wasn't a decision I made. I had no interest in a career or graduating from college. I never, in my wildest dreams about parenting, ever thought I would be in the situation that I am in today.

I think God has a good plan. He has made it so that future parents are not capable of accurately forecasting or understanding how much pain they would have to go through while raising their kids. Even though everyone tells you how hard it is and you see how they are struggling, you really can't grasp just how hard it will be. If it weren't this way, no one would ever have kids.

Today I sat in court while my son, Steven, was sentenced to 30 days in jail. I joked with Luke, a few hours later, that I felt like I should knock out a few of my teeth, put a wife-beater (or Dago-Tee, depending on what part of the country you are in) on Mike and sit in front of my trailer, smoking a corn cob pipe. I never could have imagined that a child of mine would serve time in jail. Maybe get a speeding ticket or detention in school, but jail???

After saying all that and as upset as I am to have a son who is going to jail, I am actually happy that he was sentenced to some jail time. He got an underage drinking charge last May and was put on probation. If he complied with the probation requirements, the charge would never go on his record. He complied with some of the things he was supposed to do. He went to the probation meetings, after a bad start when he "forgot" about the first one. He went back to the doctor and got a new prescription for his bipolar disorder meds, which he had stopped taking. He never filled the prescription. He went in for a drug test every time he was told to and failed every one. He went to an intake appointment for a substance abuse program, but then refused to go when he found out that the intake appointment was costing him $75 and each weekly meeting would cost another $35. He was supposed to go to MA, AA or NA meetings, which are free and he refused to go. He got several warnings from his probation officer, but he didn't care. In his mind, it was a much better way to go to just go ahead and get convicted. Unfortunately, his PO had told him that he would only get a slap on the wrist if he violated. He figured that would be cheaper and less effort than paying all the therapy and doctor fees and attending all the appointments.

Turns out she wasn't quite accurate about the slap on the wrist. Unless you consider 30 days in jail (he only has to serve 15, if he behaves), an $8 fee for each day served, $45 in court fees, revocation of driver's license for 6 months and a $150 fine a slap on the wrist. He still also has the original fine and court fee to pay, which he has been ignoring, so he might get another charge. Again, I'm not complaining, just pointing out how silly it was for him to believe that getting convicted was a good idea.

Is Steven upset about all this? Doesn't seem to be. He doesn't think it is any big deal because it is only "weekend time". He will have to present himself at the jail by 10 am every Tuesday and will have to be picked up at the jail (since he can't drive and has no car anyway) at 10 am every Thursday, beginning next week and lasting for 8 weeks. Yes, Mike or I have the pleasure of having to leave our house on Christmas morning to pick our son up from the jail. Oh, and we get to experience that same pleasure again on New Year's Day. And there goes the whole family being together for Christmas Eve, which is the main celebration day in our family.

I always try to find a bright side to things that suck in life and there are actually several here. Firstly, Steven might actually learn something from this. I doubt it, but it is possible. Maybe he will begin to understand that you can't do whatever you want and get away with it. Maybe he will start to mature a bit when he sees all the low lives that he will be living with in jail. Maybe he will get tired of paying all those fees and behave. Lastly, he has to wear whitey-tighties under his jail uniform, which I think is hilariously funny! For someone like Steven, having to buy and then wear white briefs might just be more of a punishment than doing the actual jail time!


Anonymous said...

You're nicer than me - I'd tell him to forget it, I'm not picking him up. He could stay there for his 30 days. I'm sorry, that kind of schedule is as much a punishment to the rest of the family as it is to you, and I don't think that is fair.

Hang in there! We'll keep a prayer that he learns from this.

Denise said...


That's all I have to say.

Nick said that if we come down for Christmas, he knows that HE will be the one going to pick up Steven in jail on Christmas morning. (Yeah, as long as he stops and gets us some really good, decadent coffees first!)

Once again, I'm thankful that I'll be in a state of senility by the time my kids reach that age. Nick can tell me all about it, and I'll just nod my head with an absent smile on my face, while he wipes the drool from my chin. Actually, I think I'll make Jordan do that. What goes around, comes around!