Sunday, March 30, 2014

Springtime When Thoughts turn to....



I picked up Kubota and two of his buddies after school.  Kubota had his birthday party this weekend.  The plan was to take the kids to play laser tag, feed them pizza and pop, watch a movie at home.  Let them play video games and then crash.

Our timing was a little bit off.  We got caught behind the caravan of school buses leaving the transfer lot.  The fellow in the car ahead of us was in no hurry.  He let all of the buses turn east on Greyhound Drive ahead of us.

The boys in my car decided to entertain themselves by interacting with the stream of "walkers".  Walkers are kids from the neighborhood who walk to school.  A couple of particularly fetching young ladies walked by.  And it turned out that the young man in the passenger seat was going to "Eight Grade Formals" with one of those two ladies.

I cannot know what was going on inside the heads of the two boys in the backseat.  I am not inside their heads.  I suspect they were envious and decided to try to embarrass the young man in the front seat.  Catcalls and lewd gestures were directed at the young ladies.  I "shushed" the catcalls.  I did not see the lewd gestures.  I was driving in stop-and-go traffic.

The young man in the front seat tried to call his lady friend on his cell but she did not pick up the call (That, I understand).  He was already in damage control mode.

Traffic flow bottlenecks at a left turn onto a two-way street.  By then we were going a little bit faster than the pedestrians and the two young ladies were behind us.  The monkeyshines peaked just before they could no longer see the young ladies.

The woman in the truck behind us thought the gestures and calls were directed at her.  She was not impressed.

I received a call from the Eaton Rapids City Police after I came home. 

Community Policing

I took Kubota into the police station the next morning.

The officer "casually interviewed" him.  She asked, "What happened?"

To his credit, Kubota was a good witness.  He said what happened in factual terms.  He added nothing.  He took nothing away.

He was contrite.  He had been carried away by the excitement of seeing girls who were not wearing parkas, the excitement of a birthday party and of being with two of his buddies.  He got carried away.

The officer shared with us that the person who filed the complaint wanted to press charges IF there was no remorse, the kids minimized the event or if the kids still thought it was funny.  The officer said that Kubota showed enough remorse that it would end here.

At that point, with just the tiniest little bit of prodding, Kubota offered to perform some community service to demonstrate remorse....because talk is cheap.  It is easy to cynically put on a show and thing it is all a big game.

Putting a little bit of skin into the game, say a couple of hours of raking leaves or washing cop cars, is enough to help the lesson sink roots.  The fact that he volunteered also triggers that cognitive dissonance mechanism.

We all screw up.

I am proud of how Kubota stepped up and took responsibility for his poor decisions.  I think he is growing up.

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