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It was a rather exciting weekend around here – exciting in a not-so-great way, unfortunately. My friend’s 14 year old son (who is a friend of Second Son’s) stole a car Saturday night.


This is a kid who historically has always been an honor roll student, active in the youth group at church and always the one who could be relied on to ‘do the right thing’.

So, for my friend, the arrival of the police officer at her door Saturday evening was extra shocking. The officer told her that her son had been seen driving away in the car and was still out there driving around, presumably. They were looking for him, and he had come by her house to see if she had heard from him. She hadn’t. She thought he was at a friend’s house a couple of blocks away.

When she knocked on my door, in tears, she asked me, “What do I do now?”

Of course, there wasn’t much for her to do except wait. And then, of course, she put the hindsight glasses on and could see clearly all the missed opportunities in recent months that she’d had to avoid this happening. Fat lot of good that did her though. There’s not much you can do about missed opportunities, except use them to be more aware of the ones available to you right now.

I think that’s the big key – awareness. Making it your business to be aware. Making your kids and the lives they’re leading your business. Being involved.

Second Son told me after she left that her son had told him about a month ago that he wondered what he’d have to do to get arrested. When Second Son asked him why he wanted to go to jail, he simply said, “I just want to see who’d miss me and how long it would take.”

Second Son and I were both quiet for a minute – letting that, and all it means, sink in.

After a minute, I just looked at Second Son and said, “This is why I get so ignorant over knowing where you are at all times. This is why I have the check-in rules that I have. I don’t ever want word to get back to me that you were ever feeling that way. I’d far rather hear you complain about me being too nosy, because then I know I’m doing my job. I love you, son.”

“I love you, too, Mom.”