As of yesterday we had had four of our children get arrested. One was for something minor a few years ago and the fine was paid end of story. And then of course Mike, who has been perpetually arrested for various things for years. John was arrested in August of 06, followed by his birth sister in September of 07. And now, December of 08, the third in the sibling group has felt the need to learn the hard way.
For years I have been telling Sadie the same thing that Cindy tells her kids all the time. If you don't learn how to respect authority here, learning it the easy way, then you're' gonna be taught it out there.
Apparently, when there is a problem at school and you defy the Dean of Students, and then you defy the principal, and then when you are told by the Liaison Officer at the school that your choices are to walk down the hall to the in school suspension room or go to the county jail, you shouldn't talk back and say "You can't do that to me."
Yup, our "little girl" ended up at the police station with Disorderly Conduct and Obstructing Arrest charges, or something similar. I hate to even blog it because she's really a sweet thing 95% of the time, but she let things get out of hand. Already the rumors are flying around school because she was so defiant and fighting back with the officer so much that he had to cuff her to get her out of the building.
Heavy sigh. Of course she is repentant now but it all starts over with her. Fortunately she has a good relationship with us and is healthily attached, so this may be the wake up call she needs. And having gone through this many times before, my stress level hasn't been affected that much, sad to say. However, going to pick her up in a horrible snow storm, with rapidly falling flakes and slippery roads, did get my adrenaline pumping, especially since Salinda was riding along on the way commenting on how stupid the school is that they can't control a 7th grader. THAT racked up my stress a bit, but I'm all better now.
I don't know if it is genetic or what, this absolute refusal to submit to authority, but dang it's gonna cost her. And she takes it to an extreme when she gets stuck that is even more serious than her older brother and sister. I've been telling her for several years now on the rare occasion when she gets stubborn, that something bad was going to happen if she didn't figure out how to deal with it. Sometimes I'd like to be wrong.
So now she has a long road ahead. She will have court. She will be put on probation. She will have consequences. She will have to do whatever the court says. And she will have to face the kids at school, after she gets done with her out of school suspension. She will have consequences at home. And when it's all said and done she will either never learn (Mike), learn the hard way (John) or learn after a year (Salinda). Or perhaps, it will only take once for her. I certainly hope so.
But in the long run the one thing I have learned is that very little I do at this point will make the difference. It was her decisions, not mine, that got here where she is, so I will simply help her navigate the mess she's in and hopefully she'll figure it out somewhere along the way.