“Wyrd biõ ful ãræd.”

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Sunday afternoon


It's a nice enough day but it's not going my way.  I am very rarely in a foul mood but today has been aggravating and it would have to be Sunday, the only day of the week I really make an effort to have a quiet, peaceful day.

My daughter has been on the phone with my wife on and off all day.  Her boyfriend has a teenaged son from his first marriage.  The kid is a nice enough boy,  he never hurts anyone or steals, that kind of thing. But he does smoke marijuana.  He has been staying with his mom for the past few years and she lets him do whatever he wants as long as she doesn't have to bother with him.  Inevitably, he got arrested a couple of times for having marijuana.  Not to sell, and not in any quantity, but he got caught with it. So the judge put him on this suspended sentence thing,  where he has to have drug tests periodically. But the dumb ninny kept smoking pot, kept getting reported for busting the drug test, and now he has to go to the court this week where the judge will probably put him in juvenile hall.

You don't have to be very well read to know what happens to kids in there. He isn't going to come out fired with the zeal to quit smoking pot. He may not come out at all, and if he does he won't be the same naive person he was in a lot of ways.  His dad is going ballistic and the whole household is in an uproar. There is no harmony at home for anyone in that family now.  Personally, I'm torn between rage that anyone, even a kid, could be such an idiot and disgust that the court system is doing this over a casual smoker. If he was stealing, or distributing, or something like that I guess I could see it, but he's not.  At the same time, the states are opening up the prisons and letting all manner of  trash out of jail because the courts say that the prisons and county jails are overcrowded and that is unconstitutional. 

More and more,  I feel like I'm living in a version of Animal Farm.



18 comments:

  1. Sorry to hear your having a bad day. Blame the whole thing on his Mom's liberal hands off approach to parenting. Can I suggest that maybe a trip to rehab vs spending time locked up??. Sounds like he just needs a good case of getting scared straight. Good luck.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, they've done the rehab thing and it didn't work. I guess the kid is just stupid. I don't know what you do with a stupid 14 year old. Putting him jail with perverts and drug addicts isn't going to make things brighter, though.

      Delete
  2. That's quite a drastic possibility! Maybe the judge will come up with another alternative. In the meantime I hope that he himself is suffering as much as the rest of the family are on his behalf, with the thought of what may happen. Maybe it will at least make him take responsibility for his actions in the future.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The kid thinks the judge is just going to tell him not to do it anymore. He doesn't seem to realize what he' s got himself into, but it's causing a lot of stress within that family and upsetting everybody. It's his mothers fault as much as any, she just let him do anything he wanted to do without consequences so now he thinks you can do as you please and not get your fingers burned.

      Delete
  3. Harry - that poor kid needs to go and spend some time with you on the mountain! away from bad influences and such. you could read him some ragnar. and take him on walks.

    i absolutely hate the way the justice system in both of our countries treat young people who use, and abuse, drugs. they are normally just bored out of their minds and wanting stimulation. a trip to the country, or mountain, or lake might make a world of difference.

    i am sorry that your family is having to deal with all of this.

    your friend,
    kymber

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kymber, I could never have him here because of the access to firearms. I just wouldn't trust him not to hurt himself or someone else. Besides, he would never come here. He likes the city and all his cronies. Somebody with his attitude would last about 14 seconds at our high school before he got beaten up and that wouldn't help my relationship with my daughter. It's just one more thing.

      Delete
  4. That kid is a goldmine. Whomever has custody of the kid be it the mother or the government will make money off him. It has nothing to do with the crime. In some states both the custodial parent AND the state get money for an incarcerated youth.

    His pot habit is supporting government employees all over.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's true but it doesn't help my daughter any, because her boyfriend, the kids father, is not handling this well and is causing a lot of tension there. He feels like it is his fault, for not having been there for the boy but the divorce settlement didn't give him much in the way of visitation. I have never been a big fan of his but I have to say I don't know what he could have done in this case.

      Delete
  5. Sorry for the problems you are having right now. It's a shame to lock him up for something other states are promoting vacation trips to enjoy. It's not like it is meth or anything. The problem I see if that he purposely didn't follow the rules, knowing that he would get in more trouble. You have to find out the root reason he doesn't care and then you can begin to find a better way.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kathy,
      He's just not very bright. My daughter caught him smoking pot in his room. She asked him why he would do that when he had to go take a drug test later in the week and he said if you drink a lot of water just before you go, you won't fail the test. This despite the fact that he has consistently failed the test and that's why he's going before a judge this week. I've met the guy and he's a nice enough kid, he's polite and has a good sense of humor. It's as if he just doesn't believe that anything bad could happen to him. Nothing bad ever has happened to him because of anything he's done, there haven't been any real consequences but he's taken that pitcher to the well once too often this time.

      Delete
  6. Sorry to hear the bad news. Like you I am annoyed both that we are locking people up for such a silly reason AND that the kid was stupid enough to keep smoking knowing he would get tested.

    Maybe it is for the best. A good friend of mine had a problem with drinking, well actually drinking then driving. After a couple slaps on the wrist, albeit expensive ones, he got caught again. Got 6 months in county, was able to do some work release towards the end but still did about 3 months. It turned out to be a real good life adjustment for him. That was a couple years back and he is off the bottle doing good things. Interestingly he said that if they had given him 30 days the first time it would have done the trick.

    Anyway sorry for the stress/ tension in their house and how it is trickling into yours.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, I understand the logic but some really bad things happen to kids in juvenile detention centers . The gangs tend to run them more than the guards, the guards are underpaid ($21,000 a year or so), there are too few of them, and they often are not entirely immune to racial balkanization themselves. This boy has never experienced any of that and I am not entirely sure he would survive. We make jokes about going to prison here and being "Bubba's Sweet Thang" but the reality of life there is grim.

      The thing that really makes me mad is that his mom waited until the situation was virtually irretrievable and then dumped the boy off on his dad and my daughter. She's the one who ought to be going to jail.

      Delete
  7. Perhaps his future holds a frog gigging stick and an orange vest. I had co-workers who used to wind up spending one weekend a month picking up trash along the highways. Nothing like suny, humid and 90+ degrees with cars full of your friends with cameras driving by to make you re-think your recreational priorities.

    As an aside, I had an uncle who owned a nice little house in a nice little valley. The whole property was surrounded and bisected by New England style rock dry walls. When asked about how those walls came to be he explained that when his kids screwed up, he didnt beat them. He would just say "Go give me 20 meters of ropck wall."

    He had 6 kids; 5 sons who went into the Crotch. We just to joke that if the kids had stayed at home a little longer he'd have a runway by now. Never underestimate the value of punitive labor.

    ReplyDelete
  8. You know, when I was a young man and teenagers did something stupid, the judge often gave them the choice between the Army or Marines, or jail. Back then, people considered it was a favor the judge was doing them. Most of my high school cronies who got themselves into trouble and went into the service said it was the best thing that ever happened to them, and some of them made a career out of it. But now, judges don't do that anymore. I am pretty sure the service doesn't take people on those terms anymore either.

    This problem child is 14. If he was old enough to enlist I'd try to go up there and do some kind of deal to keep him up here on the mountain with no transportation until he could pass a drug test, then deliver him to a recruiter. Paris Island would either kill him or make a man out of him, and at this point I'd settle for either one. He just needs discipline, purpose, and a group to belong to. Something to do he can take pride in. But what will happen now I don't know.

    As an aside, all three of the boys in my family went into the Marines and my sister married a Marine. My dad was Navy during WW2 but he was flexible about branch of service.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Well being so young is likely a huge factor. If he was doing this at 17 they might not care so much but at 14 they probably want to try to scare some sense into him. I did juvenile probation for almost five years and was in detention at least once a week visiting kids and it is not anything like prison. The guards at ours were decent folks and I never had a kid hurt in detention by another kid...worst that ever happened was one of my kids came down with mono in there and it was hard for her to be sick and not have her mom to take care of her. I hope the time for this kid will be the motivation he needs to stop smoking.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Lisa, they are up in Ohio. If he does wind up going to confinement then I hope it is like the one you worked in. They are rough in this state. Did they have boys in that place to, or only girls? Personally I would rather flee the country than go to a Southern prison.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Boys and girls. .. they do keep them separate though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's interesting. I think here they use separate facilities all together but I don't know about Ohio.

      Delete