Saturday Story Time: Am I in trouble?
September 24, 2011, 6:00 am
Filed under: humor, Parenting, social justice, Teenagers | Tags: , , ,

It’s midnight and the phone rings. Scott is out-of-town, we have been in a crisis with my sister and I am totally exhausted. I grope for the phone, answer with a groggy hello. ” Hi Kari, this is Kim. We have a problem.”. Now I am trying to figure out who Kim is, where I am and what time it is. I manage a slow okay. “Our boys got in a little trouble and I am sending Isaac home” she says in a not too happy voice. A light comes on in my head and I know who I am talking to. Kim is the mother of Troy, one of Isaac’s best friends who spent two weeks with us this summer on our island, and where Isaac went to spend the night. Suddenly, I am wide awake.

Isaac and Troy are a crack up together. They seem to have the same sense of humor, the same sugar addiction and the same love of sports. Troy however is an exact opposite in energy level. Isaac is content to sit, Troy is always moving. Troy does crazy things and Isaac goes along to see what will happen. Troy is like Eddie Haskell from “Leave it to Beaver”. He says the right things, but you know he is up to something. “Hello Mrs. Johnson, you look pretty today” Troy smiles as I walk in. Thank you Troy. He turns to Isaac and says “See, I told you they like that, now ask her while she is in a good mood, and thinks I am a good kid”. He makes me laugh but always leaves me a bit leery.

I just get off the phone with Kim when I hear a knock on the door. We have locked the door and Isaac is stuck. John and I go to the door to let him in. Isaac stands there droopily with a face that is trying to be serious but can not quite hold it. “She called already” he states as he walks in. Yes, Isaac, she called. What happened? Long pause, rolling of eyes, slightly embarrassed shuffling of feet “Well, you know Troy”. Yes I do, which is why I want to know what happened, and why you are now home. “So ya well, he was bored and we were in his room and he decided to shoot his bb gun out the window at the fence” Now it is my turn to roll my eyes. Really? From his bedroom? Isaac shuffles his feet and grins, “Ya, so he misses and hits the neighbor’s door.”

Now if I did not know Troy so well I might think that Isaac is making this up. Seriously, who would shoot a gun out their bedroom window in the first place, then you have a whole yard with a fence and you miss, and hit your neighbor’s house? Stories like this can not be made up. Well, Troy is an idiot, but that is not why his mom is upset, and boy was she mad. Isaac laugh’s and relaxes a bit as he finishes telling the events of the night. Apparently, Troy’s neighbor had come to the door and told Kim someone had shot at his house. She of course could not believe that Isaac and her son would have done such a thing. When she questions Troy he denies it(like any typical teenager who is about to get into heaps of trouble would), Isaac stands by Troy with his mouth glued closed. She sends the neighbor away, assured that it was not her boys who did this.

The next time she answers the door it is a police officer. The neighbor had called the police and he had checked the door and window which did indeed have bb marks in it. Now, with the officer, Troy and Isaac are quizzed again about the happenings of the night. Troy confesses, making sure to acknowledge Isaac’s innocence, and Kim is left feeling like a fool in her PJ’s as she had just defended her son to the neighbor. To say she is a bit irate, is an understatement of large proportions. The officer, being smart, wise, and male says, “No charges, just work it out with the neighbor,” and makes his exit as fast as possible. Isaac is sent home.

So Isaac, why do you think Kim was so ticked off? “I guess because Troy did not tell the truth.” What were you thinking Isaac? Did you not become an accomplice to this whole thing by staying silent? ” Mom, seriously, what did you want me to do. I was caught” he says animatedly. “what would you have done? I could not rat on my friend, and so I chose to say nothing, it was like I was in a basketball game and I am forced to shoot the game winning shot from like 1000 feet away.” Wait, what? What does that have to do with anything? “Mom, duh, it was a no win situation, would you listen to me” he says loudly. Oh, I say, laying on the sarcasm, I am so sorry, I thought we were talking about your lack of telling the truth, not basketball, excuse me for not being able to follow you immediately after I have been woken up by a phone call in the middle of the night. “I was making analogy, mom, I was stuck, if I told on Troy I am a jerk. If I do not tell, I am an accomplice”. Isaac looks at me pleading for me to understand. “I am not in trouble am I?”

Is he in trouble? So much of parenting boils down to decisions made in the middle of the night, how I handle this may have a huge impact on my credibility with him and his siblings. Is he in trouble? I take a minute to think, and then I ask did you pee your pants when the officer came to the door? Just as quick Isaac answers with “No, luckily I had just been to the bathroom.” That’s it, I lose it, and start laughing, Isaac starts laughing too and we just keep laughing until tears come out of my eyes. I try to find my serious mother voice and just start cracking up again. The pictures in my mind of Troy being his goofy self and coming up with this brilliant idea to shoot a bb gun from inside his house is just too funny. My Isaac, sitting by, knowing this is not going to be good, but ever the laid back observer who just wants to see what will happen.

We pull it together and I say, well you are going to need to apologize to Kim, and when your father gets home you have to tell him. “Will you tell him for me?” No, not a chance, I reply. I shake my head, give him a hug and say I am totally going to blog about this. Isaac grins, and says “you might want to wait at least a couple of days for Troy’s mom to get over it.”


2 Comments so far
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Great story. I love Isaac’s analogy — he really was in a no-win situation. I suggest all moms read the article on the teenage brain in the new National Geographic. It provides a great explanation about how’s kids get into these predicaments, and how their brains are driven by reward in a different way than an adult brain is.

Comment by Barb Stoefen

I will make sure to check out that article, it sounds interesting for sure. Thanks for the tip

Comment by Kari

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