The word that my son, Tyler, probably hates the most because it is often used when he has done something wrong. One of the things that I say to him all the time is that everything we do has a consequence. Sometimes those consequences are positive and sometimes they are negative. Friday was a big lesson for me in regard to consequences and the challenge that we, as parents, face with our kids when they have to face a consequence for their own behavior that we are unable to control.
Last week I found out that one of my boys, Coty, had 2 warrants in a nearby county for larceny. I consulted with some friends on how to handle things with him and Friday we sat him down to talk to him about facing the situation and encouraged him to stop running. It really didn't take much discussion at all, as he was ready and willing to face the consequences of his behavior, even if it meant he would be in jail for an extended period of time.
Off to the detention center we went and he faced every step he had to take with humility I had never seen in him before. He was always the tough guy saying nobody was going to make him face the police regarding this situation and threatening various things if we ever did so. Through the times of discussing this, however, his heart became softened and he realized he needed to face it if he wanted to move forward with his life.
It started by us walking into the magistrates office who simply told us to have a seat on the metal bench outside his door and wait for an officer to come get him. The officer came and I sat there, not knowing what to do next. Eventually the magistrate came out and told me that he had a bond and that I could go pay the bond for him to be released for the weekend and he had to come back for court on Monday morning. I told the magistrate that I was not going to pay the bond and that I would return for court on Monday.
I left the detention center crying, facing the consquence that I now had for opening my heart to this young man. It took me a few minutes to compose myself and realize that this consequence was a short one that I was facing, as well as him, and that the long term consequence of being able to get past this situation and see his growth from it would be the long term consequence we will soon walk into.
That consequence came much quicker than both of us expected as we waited in the courtroom for Coty's case to be the last one out of a docket of cases Monday morning. Coty sat nervously sweating and I sat nervously contemplating what I would say to the judge, wondering what his destination was going to be over the next 30 days. Thankfully the judge released Coty into my custody and he is on probation until we go to court in June.
There is so much that these young adults have to face in their life and one thing I realized over the weekend is that sometimes it just takes someone to believe in them and walk through without judgement and rescue. Walking away from him Friday was a very difficult time for me but I know that through this, both of us will grow individually and together. Every day we face the consequences of every decision we make. One thing we need to keep in mind is that we need to look at the long term and not short term. When we do so, it will help us get through that which is negative, knowing the positive on the other side.