Wednesday, January 20, 2010

probationary period

kevin doesn't get much mention on this blog because he's a teenager and appearing on some sort of blog is embarrassing. as embarrassing as when i drop him off at school and i hang out of the car window waving goodbye wildly and shouting his name.

if teenagers don't want to be embarrassed then they shouldn't make it so easy.

an introduction of kevin: kevin is one of ryan's young men (he's the leader in charge of the spanish speaking teenage boys at church) who doesn't have a dad (or much of a mom) around and so ryan and i have sort of adopted him. we love him. he loves us, too, but he shows it like a teenager.

so twice now in the last week and a half i've found myself waiting outside some sort of jevenile center with kevin and this experience just BEGS me to spill it on the blog. kevin is currently on academic probation because he accidentally stole his friend's x-box. perhaps i'll tell the story sometime (with kevin's permission, of course). as of now, i will say only that this experience proves the claim that a teenager's frontal lobe is not fully developed and that's why they constantly do stupid things that always end with a parent exclaiming, "what were you thinking?" and the teenager shrugging and answering, "i don't know." BECAUSE THEY REALLY DON'T KNOW.

i'm proud to say that when told the full story i did not ask, "what were you thinking?" instead i said, "dude, kevin. that was like, really, really stupid."

and kevin said, "i know."

well, good. i guess if i were his real mother that would conclude the lecture part of the job and i'd have to move on to the punishment part. good thing he's not really my teenager. this makes hanging out with him more fun.

anyway, juvie: first of all, i had to bring seth because leaving my heavily pregnant friend with both of my children just seems cruel. really, the whole thing was fine, except for the fact that they made us wait THREE AND A HALF HOURS. and i didn't bring enough toys. also, seth pulled his shoes out of the diaper bag right before we left so he didn't have any shoes and there was one security guard who seemed obsessed with the fact that he was shoeless and she was constantly chasing me down and saying, "he can't be on the floor if he doesn't have shoes."

and i was all, "really? shoes are your biggest concern? I'M SITTING NEXT TO A TEENAGE GANG MEMBER WHO'S GOT TEARS TATTOOED ON HIS FACE and you're worried that my baby is shoeless???" actually, all i said was, "we've been waiting for two hours and i can't keep him on my--"

and then she cut me off. "he can't be on the floor."

so i got mad. and i picked seth up and said, "at all?"


and then my inner teenager reared her ugly head and i rolled my eyes in a way that only my mom has seen and she saw it when i was seventeen and then she grounded me (and then i wrote this really clever poem about being grounded and it was genius). since this security officer deals with awful teenagers all day every day she wasn't phased in the least.

then i did what any rotten teenager would do: i went around the corner and did whatever i wanted. except i wasn't snorting coke lines, i was letting my baby down so he wouldn't drive me crazy AND I THINK I SHOULD GET EXTRA POINTS FOR THAT.

seriously, though, i didn't think much about where i was actually going. i walked in, walked through the metal detector and sat down only to look over and see some kid next to me in super baggy clothes with a shaved head and all sorts of tattoos and i realized for the first time that i was surrounded by future criminals. and then i was just dying to  ask everyone i made eye contact with why they were there. and what was it like to be in a gang? and do you normally "carry" when not expected to appear in court and walk through a metal detector? and also, did you have to buy that collared shirt and tie just for today's court appearance? is that your girlfriend outside? the pregnant one that's smoking?

guess what? the day before kevin and i sat in that awful waiting room for three and a half hours i cried a little because i'm not doing a very good job being a mother. i'm not spending enough quality time with them, i'm not eating enough healthy food, i'm not doing the laundry fast enough. . .

and now? now i feel great! i'm an excellent mother! i've never been arrested! i've never had a probation officer! i am amazing! should you ever feel that you are not doing a good job as a parent, i would urge you to show your face at juvie. you will walk out of there feeling totally on top of things.

best moment of the day was when a father and his daughter (i would guess she's about 13) show up and, while waiting, are briefed by an attorney. i, of course, listened in as carefully as i could.

the attorney: . . .you should contact the probation officer before you go-

the father: oh, i just got of the phone with him. i'm seeing him thursday morning.

the attorney (pointing to the daughter): her probation officer.


like i said, i am doing an amazing job.


Amber Marie said...

that one is a classic. oh that gave me a good laugh. THANK YOU!

and i think i'm going to have to read it to ryan...he looooves it when i say "come here. i have to read you this post by miriam" :)

Shanté, Rob & Jack said...

Miriam I really needed a good laugh. Thank you. I even read aloud part of the post to my husband.

I just realized I basically wrote the same thing as the other comment. Weird. Anyways, you're a great Mom!

Hernan said...

Some times life is not fair... and life just sucks... You would give all the love you ever had to your kids and your kids end up in Juvies, being a gangster anyway.

Birgit said...

I like your story.

Jessie said...

too funny! way to boost some spirits! And kudos to you for taking on an extra kid with so much patience (3 hours!) and love.

Erica said...

That's exactly what I think when I meet people who used to sell drugs, or have brothers with armories in their basements, or who live in areas where there are gangs. I want to ask them all about it! But I don't, cause I also don't want to get shot.

Crystal said...

It's a good thing I don't drink things at my desk, because otherwise my monitor would have juice/water/some other liquid all over it. Because I would have blown it out my nose. Which in my house is called a "snuck." Because everyone needs a word for that.

Morgan said...

Thank you for giving me the best laugh I've had in a while. That conversation at the end was absolutely priceless.

I'm always so impressed by people who welcome extra children into their homes. That must take a lot of love and a lot of patience.

And thank you, thank you, thank you for all of the very sweet, very thoughtful comments that you've left me. You brightened up my day. I'm glad that I found you, too:)

miriam said...

amber and shante, thank you for involving your husbands. you know it's good when you drag your husband in to read him something a housewife wrote.