Thursday, June 18, 2009

Judgement

Hannah is going to a party tonight. It is being thrown at a country club by some of her friend's parents, as a celebration of their 6th grade year. They sent out cute little invitations that were like a message in a bottle, with little umbrellas and colored sand. Anyway, all this has nothing to do with my story!

Hannah called a few minutes ago and asked if I could drive her friend, Jasmine to the dance because she didn't have a ride. I told her to ask Jasmine where she lives before she tells her yes because I don't mind doing it but I really don't want to be driving all over the place, either. Well, in typical Hannah fashion, she didn't do that. She called me back and told me that Jasmine's mom would be calling me with directions. I asked where she lived. Hannah said Jasmine's mom told her, but she couldn't understand it. Ugh! I was mad at Hannah for once again not listening. I hung up really angry. A couple of minutes later, Jasmine's mom, Wanda, called me. She was very nice and thanked me profusely for driving her daughter to the dance. She told me that she was going through a terrible time because "I don't know if you've seen the news today, but that was my son on the news. I'm so upset and I don't know what to do and I don't want Jasmine to miss the party because it wasn't her fault, but I just can't deal with this right now." I told her that I hadn't seen the news about her son and she didn't offer any explanation. She sounded like she was way to upset to even think straight, let alone talk straight. I told her that I would make sure that Jasmine got to the party and home safely and she shouldn't worry about it. At this point, I was very curious as to what had happened with her son, of course! She gave me her address, which is on the other side of town, but not too much out of the way from where the party is being held. She thanked me several times, again, and I told her that I hoped that whatever was going on with her son would work out for the best. At this point, I'm thinking he was either injured, sick, dead, or in trouble with the law.

Now Hannah is going home from the party with her friend, Patti, and staying overnight at Patti's house, so I hadn't really planned to pick anyone up from the party and I was happy about that, but I guess that is just how it goes sometimes! After I hung up with Wanda, I put her last name and our town in a Google search and boy did I get my answer. Apparently this is the big story of the moment here in Williamsburg! I won't go into too much detail because I feel very sorry for this poor mom. Her son, who is 19, was wanted for committing some really big crimes, one here in Williamsburg last week and also several others in nearby towns. These crimes were violent and unusual for this area. From what I read, as soon as Wanda found out that her son was wanted, she contacted him and the friend who committed the crimes with him and told them to turn themselves in. She even escorted them to the police station to do so. She also said in the articles that she was shocked and didn't understand why her son would do this because he didn't want for anything. She said he worked at a fast food restaurant and she helped him with his bills and drove him wherever he needed to go.

A few years ago, I would probably have harshly judged this poor mom. I would have thought if her son was committing crimes like that, she must have been a poor role model, or a drug addict/alcoholic who didn't care about her kids, or at the very least, I would have thought that she must not have been very involved in his life. The things I have been through with some of my kids have really opened my eyes. Parents are not responsible for every choice that their children make. Even good, caring, loving, involved parents can have children who make mistakes and do bad things. Instead, I feel so much sorrow for that poor woman, since I know how she is feeling right now. It is painful enough to know that your child has committed crimes and made horrible choices, but on top of that you know that a whole lot of people are now judging you, your other children, your spouse, and your parenting ability. Or maybe I should say that a whole lot of people are now misjudging all of those things! I wish that all of those "perfect" people out there could understand this! I just realized that I'm actually thankful that the things I have gone through with some of my kids, the mental illness, the crimes, the substance abuse, and the disabilities, have all taught me not to be so quick to judge. I guess there is some truth to the old saying, "Whatever doesn't kill you, makes you stronger." Maybe that should be changed to "Whatever doesn't kill you, makes you stronger, more understanding, more grateful, and less judgemental."!

On a side note, when I hung up the phone, I had to explain the situation to Alex and Shauna, who had been in the room when I was talking and heard me, but were wondering what was going on. Alex said, "Oh, mom, you are the Good Samaritan! You are driving that girl, even though you don't have to drive Hannah. Jesus will have a golden chair for you to sit in when you get to Heaven!" What a funny kid! While I, in no way, feel I am a Good Samaritan nor is it my goal to sit in a golden chair in Heaven, I thought it was nice that he said that. Even though we are not a particularly religious family, I try really hard to teach my kids about right and wrong and how important caring for and giving to others is, and that comment shows me that he is getting it!

1 comment:

Weston Elliott said...

I love your version of that saying - "whatever doesn't kill us.." Ain't THAT the truth!!