Sunday, April 3, 2011

An Error in Judgment

There are days when being a mother seems to be an incredibly difficult and thankless task, these are the days when I feel like I’m doing it all wrong. The phone call came at 2am this morning and let’s face it, any phone call at that hour of the morning is seldom good news. Thankfully no-one had died, which is always my first fear. Unfortunately it still wasn’t good news; the phone call was from the local police station informing us that our son had been arrested for property damage.

So off we went, stunned, bleary eyed and sleep deprived, to face the serious error in judgment that our 16 year old son had made. Neither his father nor I spoke on the drive there, besides the fact that I was too preoccupied doing some pretty heavy mental bashing on myself on where I had failed as a parent.

Sixteen year old MM had told me he was sleeping at a friend’s place, and I had believed him. So how did he come to be at an out-of-control party at 2am? An error in judgment on his behalf and also an error in judgment perhaps on my behalf for believing he was where he had said he was going to be, sleeping at a friends place.

What did my MM do wrong, besides being somewhere that he shouldn’t have been and without our knowledge? He’d tried to avenge an injury suffered by one of his friends. See when too many young people gather in one place then things can rapidly go wrong and that’s what happened. A friend of his was hit in the head several times with a baseball bat. I don’t know the circumstances, or the why of what happened to his mate.

I do know that following his mates departure to the hospital that MM son decided to avenge his friend’s injuries by kicking in the boot of the car belonging to the person responsible for inflicting the injuries. Not a bright move and definitely an error in judgment which resulted in his arrest.

While I am embarrassed, no perhaps mortified is a better word, by his behaviour; there was a small measure of relief that his criminal offence wasn’t purely property damage for the sake of it, as in graffiti or malicious damage. Learning the error of his ways is a big lesson for my son, who is now faced with bail conditions prior to a court appearance in several months time. They are conditions which will keep him in the house between 9pm and 7am and which will require a written letter from his employer to amend his bail conditions because he starts work at 5.30 am on two days of the week.

As a parent it is hard to except that we have gone wrong somewhere in raising our children. Would I have done anything differently, probably not? I trusted that he was going to be where he said he was going to be. In reality though, I had little control over peer pressure and other parents who delivered the boys to this party in the first place. Will I do things differently in the future, most certainly so.

Will my son learn from his serious error in judgment, I hope to god he does.

I seriously considered not publishing this post because I am incredibly embarassed by my son's behaviour. But, this blog is about what life throws at me and unfortunately there's the good and the bad in being a mother and I felt that I wasn't being honest with myself or my readers if I purely posted only the 'smiley happy moments'.

Its days like these that I truly miss the toddlers that my boys once were. Looking back, life seemed to be so easy, you tucked them safely up in their beds at night and they were there in the mornings. You knew where they were at every second of the day and had control over their actions and their behaviour. It’s when they become teenagers and you no longer have complete control over where they go or who they associate with that life seems so incredibly hard.

When you make a mistake, don't look back at it long. Take the reason of the thing into your mind and then look forward. Mistakes are lessons of wisdom. The past cannot be changed. The future is yet in your power. ~ Hugh White


  1. Im so sorry you ahd to deal with such an error in judgement. Praie the Lord it wasnt something so much worse. Like you said a car wreck or god forbid a death. No those phone calls arent fun. Having had to deal with a few of them myself when the girls where younger. Oh you are so right much easier when they are toddlers all tucked away in their beds safely. Id say that even for my adults daughters who are now parents themselves. It is life lessons that will form them inot the strong adults we want them to be. My dad and mom use to give us enough rope to hang ourselves and then drw the line in when we went tofar. I think we all do that as parents we want to trust our little darlings. They will test the waters and we have to be there and draw the line in. Thank God he has lvoing parents that are there for him Sadly there are so many that dont. Hence a system that is full of children that just need the love and support of loving caring parents. Dont beat your self up. You are doing the best with what you know and have. Things happen for a reason and Im sure he will be a better man and that he has you and his dad will be a great support to him. I will be praying the Lords grace and protection for all and that mom and dad see that theya re doign all they possible can. Your awesome to share. I know I had a daughter that tested the water plenty.

  2. Beth - thank you so much for your comments, they meant a lot to me. In fact I've shed quite a few tears today from the thoughtful comments and support coming in because of this post.

    We can only hope that our kids learn from their mistakes and that we have given them the tools to become worthwhile individuals.

    Hugs, Fi

  3. I keep thinking it will be easier, but I am dreading the day when my little lad (who is now 14 months) will be going into the world by himself, and having to deal with other kids in school etc, and when we have to trust their judgement, and I guess take a step back and let them make their mistakes... can't be easy... thank you for sharing! Hope all turns out ok!

  4. Thanks for dropping by Asta. I think that's all any of us can do, take a step back and let them make their mistakes. It's about trusting that we've given them all the tools and that they'll come out the other end as decent people.

    My son's heart is in the right place, he just needs to learn that actions have consequences. That's the hardest thing as a parent, letting them make those mistakes and being there to pick them up when they fall.(That doesn't matter whether they're 14 months or adults)


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