Being a Parent!

My three favorite kids!

BEING A PARENT

Are you like me, wondering why your newborn child doesn’t come with a User Manual? We tried to do our best when raising our three children.  They were close in age, just 14 and 15 months apart.  Yes, we were frustrated at times, (what parent isn’t) and they were disciplined.  Sometimes they were spanked, using a belt or a paddle and sometimes it was a few drops of Tabasco sauce on their tongue.  Were we monsters?  I think not……we were caring parents. We tried to teach our children morals, manners and values. In today’s world so many children seem to be raising themselves….parents too busy to be bothered and hardly anyone is teaching manners these days.

When my three were young, they behaved when out in public without me shouting at them.  We couldn’t afford to go out to eat very often but when we did, they did not disturb other diners. If someone came to me to complain about my child, I listened and got the facts.  If my child was to blame then they were dealt with accordingly.  Many parents today are on the defensive when approached about their child’s bad behavior and will support their child even if it is wrong.  I witnessed plenty of that when I was driving a school bus over a 12 year period.

Raising three teenagers was a challenge.  Our oldest son decided he wanted to move in with his best friend because he felt our house rules were not to his liking.  The move was about to take place except the parents of my son’s friends were not aware and put their foot down on that plan and it didn’t happen.  His younger brother had already signed up to join the Navy and was just waiting for his 18th birthday to be able to get started.  He had a friend who had no game plan for his future and we were afraid his encouragement to our son would get them both into trouble which would destroy our son’s chances in the military.  Again, son #2 decided he would move in with his friend.  His father called the friend’s father and suggested this move might not be a good idea.  The boy’s father told my husband to mind his own business and let our son do what he wanted.  That was the wrong thing to tell my husband……..he immediately told son #2 he could not move in with his friend.  At which time, son #2 jumped up and ran out of the house and got on his motorcycle for a fast getaway.  His father was standing in the middle of the street and told him, “You will have to run over me if you are planning on leaving here”…….of course that didn’t happen.  All the while son #1 was telling his brother, this was a bad idea and he needed to stay at home.  Things cooled down and the next day son #2 said he wanted to apologize to me and I told him……..I am not the one you need to apologize to, apologize to your father.  Things improved and son #2 went on into the Navy and served for 22 years and is a fine son we were both proud of.

I’m no different from most mother’s if you physically hurt my child…..I will hunt you down! Here is a good example.  When son #2 was a junior in high school, he played in the school band.  He observed a fellow student steal a flute from a band member’s locker. He told the boy if he didn’t put the flute back he was going to be reported to the office.  This was near the end of school and on the last day of school this thief came up to my son and sucker punched him in the face giving him a black eye.  The kid did this knowing it was the last day of school and nothing would happen to him.  Fast forward to the end of summer….. There was a summer camp up in the foothills where junior high students attended for a week each summer.  Son #2 would be a counselor at the camp and be in charge of a group of kids.  I was elected to drive the school bus with high school kids who were going to help at the camp up to the camp on a Sunday morning.

Around 9 p.m. on Monday night we received a phone call from the school principal who was handling the camp.  He asked us to meet him at the hospital in town, he was bringing son #2 to the hospital since he was injured in an accident.  We hurried to the hospital to await the arrival of our son.  He arrived with a serious eye injury that required immediate surgery.  This was no accident…..while son #2 was talking with his group of youngsters, the thief came up behind our son, called his name and when son turned around, the thief hit him right in the eye.

Our son had a broken eye socket and during surgery they put a steel pin in place.  He had bruising and was in much pain and could not see very well.  When we learned the truth of who had done this we were livid.  We immediately called our lawyer and he sent his investigator over to take pictures of our son’s face and injuries.  The local police would not really press charges or follow up on this incident…….but, I hadn’t even begun yet!

I made an appointment to see the principal of the high school and also the boy’s counselor.  They explained to me that they were suspending the thief for a week.  I told them this was not good enough and I wanted the boy expelled from the school. I reminded them this was the second time this kid had assaulted our son. They were reluctant to do that but I said okay……I’m a bus driver for the school district and I know the school district superintendent and I will talk to him.  I did see the school district superintendent and he agreed with me and the boy was suspended.  He had to finish out the school year at the continuation high school and did not get to graduate with his class.

A year later when our son was at Navy basic training in San Diego, CA the thief was also there at the same time.  He and our son played a game of pool together and talked about the incident.  The thief’s main complaint was he didn’t get to graduate with his class and his friends……well, you should have thought about that before you tried to bully and injure our son.  I don’t care how old your children are, you never stop loving them or worrying about them.