Team OJ vs. Team Marcia: A day in my parenting life.

I’ve heard the stories.  I’ve been told.  Yes, it seems that as we parents age we tend to lose our mad – I smell a child skunk – radar skills (along with our eye sight, smelling, which is why we can’t smell the overbearing skunk, hearing, bladder control and all other useful functions).

Never! ( I thought).  Not me! (I proclaimed).  Not even possible (I proudly boasted).  Doesn’t the Bible say something about pride and boasting?  Um, hmm. And it isn’t good.

Well this aging parental proud boaster learned a lesson.  You think I would’ve learned to be a little more cautious after my darlin’ baby pulled this stunt a couple of years ago.  However, in defense of my previous state of ignorance, we parents want to believe our children.  We are TOLD by the media to believe our kids (and the sneaky little offspring know this!)

So when my youngest came home with a bus tale from hell (involving forced gum consumption in spite of his existing expander) I rose to his defense.  Ok, so to be fair, I was kinda set up.  Why?  Well, he has had multiple issues on this bus even involving physical assault (the little guy took a breath sucking punch to the gut).

I believe in tough love and find myself quoting Mr. Pavlov’s “suck it up” (whatever it may be) a little too often.  Although, without a doubt, I become my children’s OJ Simpson legal defense team when warranted.  I have their back and they rest securely in this knowledge.

This warranted Mama Bear roared and demanded that the school employ serious intervention (because somehow intervention alone seemed lacking) in this bus situation.  The school rose to the challenge and began to implement change.

Then my previously constipated maternal radar took an Exlax and began to flow freely.  Beeps and alarms were going off all over the place.  Something just didn’t fit and this team OJ was not about to acquit.  Could it be?  Could my youngest, my baby, be deceiving me?

I asked him…several times.  It was not until his grandmother’s profession of his truthfulness that he broke and actually told the truth.   She spoke into existence his character, the character we have in and through Christ and that alone drove away all deception.

As he told the truth it became obvious that he wove two separate events together with such creativity and detailed precision that I sat and marveled at his intelligence.

Then I felt nauseous because I remembered my team OJ demand for serious intervention.   I knew, without a doubt, that the serious intervention would be coming from my son and myself and I wanted to hide (I was really feeling the whole fig leaf and animal skin thing).  I knew we had to correct the situation and bring forth the truth but part of me really didn’t want to.

Have you wrestled with feeling like these before?  I knew what had to be done but sooo wanted NOT to have to do it!   I guess I was concerned with how his deception reflected on not only him, but on myself as his parent.

I felt for sure they would be thinking he was a bad kid who lied easily.  I thought they would treat him differently and view him with suspicion.  Plus they were sure to ask: What kind of parent was I?  How foolish was I to believe his story?  The fear of man is a very motivating force behind our bad decisions!  It would be soooo much easier to let the entire incident blow over and have the school staff still hold us in a positive light.  However, this tempting apple was not an option (I’ve learned that bad things happen when you eat the sin apple).

I uncomfortably became prosecuting attorney, Marcia Clark and marched his little toosh into the school office and had him tell the truth (while I held my breath).

They listened.  Then they handed him a kleenex for his tears and snotty nose and as he wiped and blew they thanked him for coming forward and telling the truth.  They called him a “man” because, as one staff member put it, any boy can lie but it takes a man to tell the truth.  They handled him with such tenderness, mercy and grace that I couldn’t help but think of our heavenly Father and how he lovingly deals with us in our tearful, mucus loaded states.

My little man finally smiled and so did team Marcia, rather comfortably.

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8 responses to “Team OJ vs. Team Marcia: A day in my parenting life.

  1. Awesome post Beth!! I loved this and as a mother myself I can totally relate! Even though it was difficult, you lead your son in the path of righteousness just as our Father lays out our path through Jesus.

    Loved it!

  2. I agree with Janet above – awesome post. When Matt was in 7th grade he and a neighbor boy did a stupid thing and used shaving creame in the neighborns mailboxes, door knobs, and wrote “you suck” on our sidewalk. It was then that I learned my son could be an ice man. He denied any part of it while assuming blame on other neighborhood boys so I put my Sherlock Holmes mom cap on and interviewed every boy/mom in the neighborhood about the fateful night. I did not let it go and finally almost two weeks later Matt’s best friend finally ratted the ring leader out — my son! Big lessons were learned that would change the course of any future lying. Matt had to go to each neighbor (with me behind him) profess his guilt then ask what hard labor he could do for them to earn back their respect. For one he mowed the yard a few times, for another he planted flowers, and another something else. The parents tried to say it was okay while I was behind Matt motioning “oh no it’s not and you’d better give the kid something to remember!” We have a good neighborhood and luckily they knew it was a teaching moment — like you with Tres. Good job mom. Matt was also grounded from friends for a month and I never had another experience like that again. Matt talked about that for years — well into adulthood. Sometimes we just do things right so kudos to you to take a tough situation and make it a teaching moment. Sounds like your school reacted the way my neighbors did. That helped.

    • ahahah! That’s great Mary! Although I bet at the time you were not that happy. Thanks for sharing your experience! And from what I can tell you have two beautiful, well-adjusted, productive children….that speaks volumes!

  3. Oh you handled this perfectly.

    And we all have those moments as a mother; when we WANT to believe and we do but then those nagging details start to pick at our brain…

    You did the right thing. On all accounts.

    First defending him, then following through on your doubts, then having him bravely own up.

    It takes a man to be truthful and takes a woman to raise a truthful man.

  4. You turned an uncomfortable situation into a parenting triumph, though I can imagine how difficult it felt at the time. Your son will have learned so much about honor and the benefit of doing the right thing.

    It sounds like you got your hands full with your youngest there – better keep those radar skills tuned up!

    • Hey KB! I stop by your site often and try to comment but my comments never get posted?

      Yes, he is quite the handful. Full of personality always keeping us on our toes. I spend half my parenting time fighting back the laughter (which is probably why he does the things he does!) but can parent-up when needed!

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