Tuesday, March 13, 2012

My Trip To The Local High School Cafeteria

I needed to pick my son up early from school one day. I arrived at the high school and was directed to the attendance office. There I am informed that he is at lunch. I say okay and have a seat while I wait for him to show up. After about 15 minutes or so I notice 3 other kids have came and left after me. I ask the lady at the desk if my son is coming. She says "no he has lunch, we cannot call for him." I ask "well how do I get him?" She says "you have to go and look for him." That answer annoys me but I head on over to the cafeteria. It's been a couple years since I have visited a high school cafeteria. There are hundreds of teens with attitudes and piercings and so on. I approach the cafeteria door where is a staff member standing guard. I tell him I am looking for my son. He says go on in and look around?? WTF?? There are hundreds of kids in there!
"Look around??" I enter and walk around looking for my son. I, amongst the fashionable teens feel very out of place. I mean seriously it was all eyes on the old chick. I immediately felt my hairstyle was outdated, my pants were so not cool etc. I swear it was like being back in high school. 
I wander self consciously up and down the aisles looking for my son, who surprisingly looks like all the sons there. I literally feel all the kids staring at me, talking about me, judging me. After 10 minutes I return to the gate keeper and tell him I can't find my son, thinking he will make an announcement or something but he says "try again he's in there." I return. The stares return. I feel overweight, I notice I am the only female there without skinny jeans and Uggh boots.....
Is that a pimple I feel coming up on my forehead? Oh dear God. I am dying here. I, again, return to the gate keeper and say "no luck" he then informs me I can go look around the court yard. Which  I do. I enter and see kids making out, and notice immediately all the clicks. I quickly get  the hell outta there. And return to the cafeteria. I decide I will just wait there and eventually he will come out. Although I generally enjoy embarrassing my kids. I  did not want to do that to my son in front if the entire student body and somehow I think when your mommy comes looking for you in the cafeteria that could be embarrassing. I lay low by the entrance hoping to spot him. When one of his friends spots me and yells out 
"Miss Reed!" 
"Look it's  Miss Reed!"
"Miss Reed in the house!"
"Heeeeeey Miss Reed!"
 Of course due to his loud yelling the entire cafeteria turns at once to look at me. I am dying here I feel the teenage girls eyes traveling over my apparel. The teen boys sizing me up. This is just awkward! Just when I can take it no more I see him. I approach him and he actually did not seem as horrified as I thought he would be. I am the one horrified and ready to get out of there. I get outside and say to him "sorry I did not mean to pick you up in front of the entire school" "It's cool" he says  "You look kinda cool today anyways." "Awe, I do?" I ask. "Yeah" he says " you should have seen the mom that came in before you. She had the nerve to have on skinny jeans!"

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Grand Theft Auto- Real Live Version

So recently my son completed Drivers Ed. He did very well and the mere second he graduated he wanted to drive, drive, drive. I was a bit confused I thought that since he had that certificate I could drive with him, but nope, turns out he needs an actual permit from the DMV. I know ignorance of the law is no excuse but it is my excuse. I let him drive me around the neighborhood a couple times and he did quite well but I have little patience and was freaked the entire time. Once I found out that he had to have that permit from the DMV I explained no more driving until we get that done. Problem is the pesky DMV office closes at 5p each day and that schedule just does not work for me. So although he hounded me daily to get the permit it was put on a to-do list.
School was closed for 3 days. Damn teacher workdays. And I thought two teens at home for 3 days alone would equal trouble so I sent them to their dads. Monday night (day two) Dad calls me at 10p. He is pissed. He informs me he is on the way to my home with the boys. I was confused because I thought I had one more day. He then informs me that while he was at work our son (which is my son apparently when he does wrong) had driven dads car while he was at work. He was livid. I was mad too but I kinda found it funny because I too would steal my moms car all the time at that age. And for all the times I called dad to complain that I needed help with them and more support as they reached their teen years. He could never help out, but he always made sure to inform me that they would not do "those things" if they lived with him. He was ranting and raving mostly about his car and the gas that was used. Not about the fact that Michael had only driven a grand total of 3 hours in drivers ed and was not only a danger to himself but others as well. The story they gave him was that they drove around the neighborhood a few times. Dad demanded that I punish him. Nope sorry dude that happened at your house you should have punished him. His idea of punishing him was to return him home and put it in my lap. I thought that was a huge cop-out since he pays $35 a week in child support per child and is currently a month behind. 
A lil side note about that child support- we agreed on that amount when the boys were tots because he would get them every weekend and also paid half of their clothing costs and chipped in on  field trips, and pictures etc. At the time it was more important that he remain active in their lives to me then provide money for their care. I could do it by myself so I mostly did. But he has since had two wives and two more kids plus one more kid that showed up from his past prior to me so lets just say the visitation is shaky at best. Not to mention that the cost of a 2 year old compared to a 16 year old is way different. I mean that boy can eat up a weeks worth of his child support in one day. 

Anyways back to the story. 
He dropped off the boys and left. Then I sat down with them and asked what the hell were they thinking?? They made light of the situation. "No big deal" as my son put it. "We didn't wreck and no one got hurt." After I explained all the things that could have gone wrong. An accident, running over and killing a child, getting caught by the police, etc. My son still did not see the "big deal". It was very frustrating. At that point I informed the lad that should he ever steal a car at my home I would definitely have him arrested for grand theft auto. He looked at me and said "and I knew that, which is why I stole dads car and not yours." 
So I am curious, Did you ever steal your parents car or did your kids ever steal yours?

Friday, February 24, 2012

How Effing Ungrateful!

I am a closet smoker. Smoking is a nasty and bad habit. However, I love it. I do not smoke in the day at all. But each night when I take my bath I puff on two Virgina Slims. I am not a drinker, nor do I have any prescription magic pills to help me deal with stress, so this is my medication. The two smokes calm me and put me in relax mode so that I am ready for sleep. I enjoy it. It is my dirty pleasure. Very few people know that I smoke. Well until now. One of the people who does know is my neighbor. She is on a fixed income. She gets a check at the beginning of the month and has no employment so she rides that check out until its gone which is usually around the 15th of each month. Then she is broke. The problem is she too is a smoker. Apparently a chain smoker. We all know cigarettes are expensive so if you are that broke that is an even worse habit to behold. Anyhoo to get to the point I am her cigarette supplier from the 15th to the 3rd of the next month. 
It started out just a smoke here and there but now it has become expected. In my silly attempt to cut down on all the phone calls and stop-bys I started to give her 4 or 5 at a time thinking that would hold her a couple days and I would not have to deal with the dramatics. That worked the first two times then it would seem even if I gave her 5 smokes the next day there she would be waiting for me to stock her up again. This was extremely frustrating because since I smoke so little my pack would last a week. Now with her my pack lasts a day or so. I have even bought her an entire pack so that she can give me some peace but even then she blows through them in a day and she's back begging the next day. It is annoying and exhausting. I have tried to explain to her that I am a very light smoker and usually have just enough to get me through and that now that she is smoking on my dime I find that I am spending quite a bit more. I get apologies and the "oh I feel terrible" but the asking does not stop
Any real smoker knows that when you smoke and have no smokes it is a horrible predicament to be in. So she calls me as soon as I pull up, I am not even out of the car yet. If I don't answer she runs out to catch me. If she is unsuccessful she will knock on my door. There is no way to get around it other than to just be a bitch and say no more. Which by the way I am not quite prepared to do just yet although I feel it is coming. So last week when she was calling over and over and I was ignoring her I could feel that she was headed over. I gave cigarettes to Mason and said "quick run these to Mrs. Judy's house." He returned 10 minutes later (because no visit to Mrs Judy's house is a quick one) shaking his head.  
I asked what happened he said "well mom she opened the door and I said my mom said to give these to you. She opened the box and yelled only two! My god she only sent me two! And then she started to cry. She cried and cried and I had to come in and get her at tissue. I asked her what was wrong and she said your mom only gave me two. Is she out or something? Why would she do that? Is she mad?"  
After hearing what had happened I was livid! I started to go over there and demand my two cigarettes back. How dare she! Are you effing kidding me! Come on! I am raising a family of 6 over here on a very small amount of money. I am sure if you broke down the person to money ratio she would be rich compared to us. She just mishandles her money apparently. But I just thought it was the most ungrateful response I had ever seen. For that I ignored her for an entire week. It took a lot of ducking and being rude when she would come walking up my driveway but after about 4 days she got the hint and laid low. 
I noticed my smokes were still disappearing too quickly. I asked David one evening had he been tampering with my pack. He said yeah. "I've gotten a few here and there." "Why?" I asked irritated that my pack had somehow become the community pack. He said "well everyday when I pull up from work Mrs Judy meets me in the driveway and needed some so I have been splitting  my pack with her which left me short so I had to get some out of yours. UUUGGGHHHH

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Insensitive Or Over-Reacting?

Hmmm Karma is a bitch
So David has been working two jobs one from 530a-7p then another from 7p-12a. He usually stops by after job #1 to eat and then heads out to job #2. Job #2 is a side job that he sets the pace for, so although he needs to get there, it is not like if he is late he is in trouble. He was leaving for job #2 when my smoke detectors started going off. I was a lil weirded out by that because we were not cooking or showering or doing anything that would cause that. David was pulling off so I had Mason run and tell his dad to come in right quick and see what was up with the alarm. David comes in and fans the alarm which causes it to stop and then says bye and heads back out. By the time he made it to the door the alarm starts going off again. He returns and removes the battery and then heads for the door again.
 I was shocked by his solution to the problem so I say to him "ummm, excuse me, but I don't think removing the battery is what one is supposed to do when the alarm sounds." He replies nonchalantly "the battery is just dead." 
"I'm no fire chief but usually the alarm is used to alert one of something. In my experience when the battery is dying the alarm will let off an intermediate screech sound every few minutes to let you know that." I inform him. This sound was clearly the alarm sounding. He looks at me irritated and says "Roc there is no fire so it must be the battery." "Or Carbon Monoxide?" I suggest. "Maybe" he says as he heads for the door. "Maybe?!" I yell. "So you're off to work while we all must just stay here and inhale the carbon until death?" "You are not going to die. If you are that concerned open a window." is his reply. "Oh okay" I say sarcastically "we'll just open the windows and go to bed and maybe the bad guys who broke in last month won't will come in and kill us. But don't worry about that head on off to work now. We'll see you when you come back or rather in heaven when you get there. We will all be waiting. Oh, since all my kids will be dead as well you can just give all my stuff to my sisters." He turns around not impressed and says "Roc its the battery." "Yes, David while I am sure that is the best case scenario, however it just seems like you would want to be sure" "Fine." he storms in and removes the battery again and says" I'll just go get a new battery". "Sounds like a good plan" I say. He returns less than 5 minutes later, pulls up hands Mason the "new" battery and pulls away. 
He was very fast, suspiciously so. I take the battery David has given Mason and place it into the alarm which immediately starts going off. I remove that battery and put it into another alarm which also starts to go off. I assume the battery in the second alarm must have been dead and now this new battery David just bought is making alarm #2 functional,  so it is picking up the Carbon Monoxide and going off. So I call David, he picks up I say "Soooo both alarms are now sounding. You still think it is just the battery because this battery is new?" He pulls back up comes in and says "give me the battery."Why?" I ask. He admits "I never replaced it. I lied. I just wiped it off and brought back the same battery. I really needed to go but I will go buy 3 new batteries." Which he did and all the alarms stopped. Turned out he was right. That would make the score:
Me 10000882. Him 3. 
Although he was right I still was mad because how could he be sure? What if we had all died in our sleep? I don't know about you but I take the possible death of my entire family seriously enough that I would make sure my guess that the battery was dead was a correct guess But that's just me.
So you decide. Did  I overreact or was he being insensitive? Keep in mind this is my blog!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Drama Continues

Her Side:
"Well...I was out walking my dog and I heard a noise behind the barn (located beside my house). I became frightened. There was heavy crashing sounds and the sound of metal. I was petrified. I immediately thought that your house was being robbed again. I took my dog back to my home and returned to see what was going on . As I was returning I saw a scary looking guy coming from behind your barn walking towards your back porch. I ran up to him and started yelling hey who are you? What are you doing here? Get the hell off this property now! The scary guy just ignored me and kept walking so I ran up to him and repeated my questions. I did not know who he was or if he was a killer. I wasn't sure if there were more people behind the barn. Before I realized it I had gotten right up in his face. I thought he may stab me or hurt me in some way. So I yelled at him some more. Finally the scary guy turned to me and said I am here to see Michael. I told him Michael was in school. He told me no he wasn't. He was in the house and had invited him over. I ran to your door and started pounding on the door yelling for Michael to come out. He ignored me. I kicked your door several times and continued yelling. Finally Michael came to the door. He opened the door a hair and said what so you want. I told him to get his ass out of that house, I asked him what were they doing? Was he robbing the place? I wasn't sure, But I thought maybe they were moving merchandise from your home to behind the barn for pick up. I continued yelling and cursing at Michael who just stared blankly at me. Finally he said to me Mrs. Judy I am sick. That's why I am home. I asked my friend to come over. That's why he is here. So I told him  you are not supposed to have anyone here. What the hell is wrong with you? He said to me well call my mom if you have a problem. Then he shut the door in my face leaving me alone out on your porch with the other scary guy who I was certain would harm me. I told him to get the hell off the property before I called the police. Roc, what the hell is going on in your home? What is going on with Michael? He is up to some thing you need to have him arrested or placed in a boot cap or something. I cannot believe he was so disrespectful to shut the door in my face! I do not feel safe. I wasn't sure if they would attack me or hurt me I was so scared." 
My Thoughts:
This story brings me much confusion. Why would she be scared of my son? Why was my son home and not at school? What was behind the barn? Who was the scary guy? Just then my son calls. I ask him what the hell is going on? He says to me "I came home and Mrs Judy came here and went crazy." I ask him who was at my house he says "no one now, but it was Brett." "Brett?" I asked. "No, not him, who was the scary guy?" "Brett" he says sounded defeated."What was Brett doing behind the barn?" "Hiding from Mrs Judy" he says. Uggghh "This is all too much I will be home in shortly and I will deal with you then." And I hung up greatly annoyed. When I arrive home I immediately begin yelling at him, because let's be honest, he was skipping school again.
His Side:
He had an accident in his pants....(A clear lie.) So he needed to come home and change. He was with Brett walking to school when it happened. So he headed home to shower and change and Brett was just gonna come with him. When he got to our street he told Brett to wait on the corner so he would not be seen by the neighbor. When he got home without an issue he called Brett and told him the coast was clear. Brett headed down the street just as Mrs. Judy was headed out to walk her dog. Brett called Micheal who instructed him to come the back way and hide behind the barn until Mrs. Judy went into her home. Which is what Brett did. However he must have rustled some leaves and unknowingly got Mrs. Judy's attention. So when she went  home to put the dog up he thought the coast was clear and was headed to my back door when wham! Mrs Judy appeared yelling, screaming and cursing at him. He tried to ignore her and not engage her but she followed him. Then he just told her the truth that Micheal had invited him over. But she continued to yell and scream at him. Then Michael says Mrs. Judy came to the door, she kicked the door twice. He wasn't even gonna open it but she kept banging and yelling. So eventually he came to the door. He opened it  and she began yelling at him. So much, so close that her spittle landed in his face and after the second time of spit landing in his face he told her to call me and shut the door. 
The Facts:
Obviously my son did not shit his pants. That was just an excuse to come home. They were obviously planning to skip and hang out in my house. I fully believe all the parts about my sons story of why Brett was behind the barn. My kids know that Mrs Judy conducts 24 hour surveillance. Aside from my son being wrong for skipping here's what I take issue with. The "scary kid" that Judy referred to is my sons best friend. 
A more true depiction of what the kid looks like
Her Description of The "Scary Guy"

                                                           He is over here lots. He has no weird piercings or tattoos or anything to make him look "scary." The kid wears yellow for god's sake. She knew him! So the part about the scary guy was unnecessary and embellished. I checked behind the barn. There was nothing back there. So the loud crashing and metal sounds...embellished. Her life being in danger...bullshit! My son nor any of his friends have ever been disrespectful to her or never been violent at all. No one threatened her!  She could not have been that scared of him. She approached them both! I appreciate her giving me the heads up when something fishy is going on at my home and I'm not home. I do not appreciate her going over there and trying to handle it herself when she realized it was my son. She should have simply called me and that's all. It is not her place to go confront my kid. That would be my job. And it is definitely not her place to yell at my child or threaten him or his friends. Especially after she just fucking misidentified him as a robber no more than a week ago! I did tell her that. And I was mad at her for a good while. I also punished my son for skipping and called his friend up and had a chat with him about what will happen if I catch him at my house again when I'm not home. But Jeez Louise these people are outta control. And I am super pissed that my neighbor made it seem like she was in danger when she was the aggressor. Ugggh 
Now you pick a side. Neighbor or son? They were both wrong but I just sorta feel the adult should be the adult. What do  you think?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Drama Never Stops

Honestly the hardest thing I ever went through that I can recall. I was literally an emotional wreck. When my son was cleared it took a huge weight off me but there was still angst. I still and never will know who robbed my home. My relationship with my son will always have this scar. But I was getting through, pulling myself together.
Sunday night my boys were wrestling when Mason's foot got injured and his dad was convinced the bone had cracked. I had to go to work in the morning and Mason claimed he could not walk so I took him to work with me to try to find someone to cover my shift so I could take him to the doctor. It's really hard to carry a ten year old at 6am. Later that day around 12pm I am at the XRay center to get Mason's foot Xrayed. I had already had an unpleasant exchange with the receptionist who was less than friendly, even snooty, when she informed me the Xray would not be covered by my insurance since it was out of network. It wasn't so much as that, but the way she said it was just snooty! We were waiting to be called back. There are several signs stating no cell phones in the waiting area or treatment area and I obliged by turning off my ringer.I periodically checked my phone because I do have several other children and you never know. I noticed I had 3 missed calls from the neighbor. I was concerned and annoyed. Concerned because I thought maybe my house is being robbed again and annoyed because if that is not the case and she thinks I'm working why would she keep calling?
Then I get two missed calls from my job followed by another missed call from my neighbor. Now I'm starting to panic thinking there must be a problem. I get a text from a coworker that says "roc your neighbor called here looking for you she said it is an emergency". At this point they are Xraying Mason's foot. I cannot just leave the waiting area. That would freak him out if he returned and I was not there so I sat there for an agonizing 15 minutes wondering what the hell was going on at my home. Finally the Xray tech returned with Mason and shockingly now he could walk! It's a miracle! Once they told him he foot wasn't broken or sprained he magically healed right up. I was so irritated with him that I wanted to break his foot so that the entire day had not been a waste. I carried him and he is heavy, I left work, I argued with dad over the injury, and now I will have a huge Xray bill since the place my pediatrician sent me to get the Xray was out of network. Uggh just what I needed.
As I leave the Xray department I immediately call my neighbor. She answers the phone out of breath and over excited. I say annoyed "is there a problem?" "Oh hell yes there is!" she screams back at me. "Where are you?" I explain that I am far away at a hospital but ask what is the problem. She says "well I would not bother you if it was not an emergency! But something is going on with your son!" Oh god here we go. "My son is in school" I inform her. 
"No he's not either!" she yells
"He is in your house!... 
And I just had it out with him!... 
Oh my god, let me calm down! She is breathing as if she will pass out at any minute. She begins to tell me what a horrible morning she has had to begin with. 
Her dog is terribly ill and... 
she's not feeling well herself, and... 
she has been so stressed ever since the robbery.... 
and today just tops the cake....
she thinks she may move....
She needs her meds....
her heart is palpitating and.... 
the dog is so upset, and.... 
I need to get home asap...."
I am completely irritated and ask her "what the hell is going on? "
Oh god well Let me calm myself..
hold on I need some water.....
Oh you are going to be so upset...
or mad but I'm mad..."
this goes on and on. I have had enough!
"Fucking tell me all ready!" I yell "What the hell is going on?"
"Well....." she takes a deep breath and begins her story....

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Telling The Neighbor

She stands there in her usual attire, her robe and slippers. I scream "He did not do this! Michael  is innocent!" She seems to be in shock and says "come in come in." I sit on her couch and I tell her how the police were just at my house and have cleared Michael. She stares at me in horror. She begins to sob. Not the reaction I was hoping for?? I say to her "hey now, no crying this is great news! You can stop giving him the suspect eye and we both can rest easy knowing that he didn't do this." She cries louder. "I can't believe I made a mistake it looked just like him" she says. "Well it's okay we all make mistakes" I say in an effort to comfort her. "Oh god!" she sobs "he must hate me." "Yes, he does" I say, "but he will get over it he just needs a little time." "I was so sure" she says shaking her head in disbelief. "I know, its okay." I say She begins to wail "oh you must hate me.!" "No, I don't" I assure her. "Yes you do!"  she wails. Her wailing is similar to that of a three year old having a tantrum. There is shaking and snot and tears and loud crying. But I've seen it before. I tell her to clam down no one hates her its just that I am so happy he didn't do this. She again said "I was just so sure." I just stare at her. "But I never saw his face" she admits. "Just the back of him or rather the back of who I thought was him." "It's fine," I say "you were only trying to help."
"All your kids must hate me." she whines. I assure her that they don't. She asks me if I can ever forgive her. I tell her that I already have. As she cries and cries and makes it about her I remind her to imagine how I must feel. I am his mother and I too accused him. "Only after I said I saw him!" she wails. "Either way, I am his mother and I should have stood by him." I interject. "Oh the turmoil I have caused your family. I am just so sorry and".....this goes on for an hour. Her crying and apologizing me assuring her that we do not hate her and that we should focus on the positive... he is innocent. I eventually calm her down to where she is no longer crying at the top of her lungs just whimpering quietly about how much he must hate her. I tell her "he's a good kid. Give him some time and he'll forgive you."  She asks if she can apologize right now. I say no the day has been long enough and I am sure Michael doesn't want to hear her apology right now. "Just let it die down a bit" I suggest. As I am wrapping up my visit that always takes about 3 times longer than I anticipated I get her calm enough so I can leave without feeling too guilty. She starts to cry again. "Do you think he will take revenge against me?"
This makes me angry! I turn on my heel and look her in the eye and say "My son has never done anything malicious to anyone! He is not that kind of person!"  "Well he could be so mad now that he may retaliate." she says. I am stunned at that comment. I have decided to just go and leave her to her misery. I wrap things up by saying "well we, and our homes are safe and I am happy for that."  "No we are not" she says. "That means the real robber is still out there and I am probably next. She begins to get worked up again. "Listen, the robber only stole kids items and electronics so it was obviously someone who knew us and had been in our home. You have nick knacks and facial cream. They do not want that. I am sure you will be fine." I say, becoming irritated. "Oh no" she says "I am certain I am next." "Okay I give up. Have a good night" I say and return home wishing I had never went over to begin with.

Monday, February 6, 2012

The Robbery- Part 5 - Finally....Guilty or Not

The Back Story
Okay, loyal readers, here I will finally tell you if my son did this or not.
So I answer the phone and I am greeted by a Captain Morgan. He informs me that is is calling because he understands I had filed a complaint. Which although I did complain I did not realize it was "official." So I catch him up on the entire story about how I was treated by the redneck-asshole-guy and how I have not been contacted since and the all the stuff that had occurred in relation to this robbery and their mishandling of it. He is very nice and he tells me that he will be looking into the way I was treated by the FVPD because that is definitely not the way to handle citizens. He informs me that all calls are recorded and he plans to pull the recordings from my previous 5 phone calls and if what I said was indeed true someone's "head would roll." He explains the investigation process to me and for that I am grateful because I truly had no clue. He apologizes again for the way I was treated and assures me that he will take action. He asks if there is anything he can do to smooth things over with me. 
I tell him that at this point it had been two weeks and obviously the case would not likely get solved but that I was horribly upset and confused by my son being accused. He asks if I think he did it. I tell him no but I don't want to be that mom that thinks her kids are angels. I mean who would really think their kid robbed their family at 15?? I explain to him how hard it has been in my home not knowing if my son is innocent or guilty and at this point I don't even care if they find the culprit. I just want my son either cleared or convicted so we can move on with our lives. I tell him that the FVPD has stock in finding out if he did it as much as I do because if he did it I am sure next he would rob someone else and then they would really have a problem. I tell him if my son did do this then this would be his first crime therefore he should be easy to break.
 I suggest they come pick him up and take him to one of those interrogation rooms with the swinging light and an intimidating officer that could get him to confess.
 He explains that due to his age he cannot do that. I ask if they can administer a lie detector test to my son. Again he informs me the age is an issue. I tell him I am willing to sign something saying I do not mind if they go outside of protocol. Whatever it takes I need to know. He says again he cannot. I sigh in frustration and my voice cracks as I fight back tears that apparently I will never know if my son did this or not. There is a long pause on Captain Morgans end and he says "I'll tell you what. It is so uncommon for a mother to be so vigilant when their child is accused. Generally a mother would just defend her child even when she may know he is guilty." He commends me for that.  He said he could tell I was struggling with this and since I had been so mistreated he would do me a favor. He informs me that he is the master at making a criminal crack especially youth offenders and that although he could not come pick my son up he would come to my home and "work his magic" and give me the answer I so sought after. It is almost 10pm. He asks if I would like him to do that. I am super grateful and I reply "Yes! Yes! Please!" He says "I am on my way see you  in 10 minutes." 
Ten minutes later there is a knock at the door. All my boys are sitting at the dining room table playing UNO.(that's what happens when there are no video games) I open the door and act surprised to see the captain standing there with the original responding officer. They step inside and the captain says "I am here to see Michael Reed." My son looks like he is gonna shit himself. I point him out, "that's Michael" I say. He says all official and authoritatively "Michael I need you to come with me, Mrs Reed officer John will explain what's going on" and with that my son heads out the door with the captain. Those 15 minutes seemed like lifetime. I began to wonder if I was doing the right thing. I worried for my son. But I knew it was what I had to do. After 15 minutes or so the captain returns with his arm around my sons shoulders ( I am crying as I write this, as I visualize the memory of that sight.) He says to me "Mrs. Reed, your son is innocent. You got a good kid right here." I bite my lip to hold back the tears as I grab him and hug him. He, understandably, does not hug back. The captain explained that the prints do not match my son at all. He had previously verified my sons alibi and using his expertise in detecting guilt he had cleared my son. I honestly felt like I had won the lottery. You could never understand this until you go through something like this. In an instant I had my sweet innocent child back! I thanked the captain over and over. He told me that I was doing a great job as a mom and he wished more mothers in our town were more like me. Then he gave me his cell, his email and told me if I ever needed anything please get in touch with him. He also apologized again for the trauma that my family had endured. And with that he left. He barely made it out my driveway when I ran as fast as I could to the neighbors. It was 11pm! I banged on her door so much that I am sure I scared the shit out of her. She opened the door frazzled and I yelled "he is innocent! Michael did not do this!".......

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Robbery- Part 4 Me Against The FVPD

The Beginning of the Story
I had been gathering info all week."Working the case" I was hell-bent and determined to find out if my son had anything to do with this. I was exhausted. I had not heard from anyone from the police department so I decided I should call them. I had the responding officers number in my phone so I called him and shared with him the information I had received from the school and the information on the kid that looked like my kid. He told he was off and was not my officer. He told me I should contact the police department to find out who was assigned my case and share that info with them. I did just that. Guess who answered? Red-neck-asshole-guy. As soon I started to explain who I was he cut me off and said "yeah we know, what do you want" I explained that I had information I needed to share with whomever was handling my case. He asked me for my investigators name. I told him I didn't know. I didn't. He grumbled and said "who was the officer?" I told him the responding officer had told he he was not my officer. He then said rudely "well what's your case number?" I told him I did not know. I had not been given a case number or any information. He said "you don't know?" I said "no I don't" He responded rudely "well I don't either" and hung up. I was outraged. What was this dudes problem? I had decided to go down there in person after work.
When I arrived at the local police station I could see immediately why the person answering the phone was an ass. There was one guy responding to 911 calls, regular police station calls, dispatching police units and handling walk ins. That made me feel very unsettled about my community. I had to wait 15 minutes for the guy working behind the desk to acknowledge me he was super busy. So I made it quick. I knew immediately he was not red-neck-asshole-guy because he was polite to the callers. I quickly explained who I was and that I had been having difficulties with whoever it is that is answering the lines in the daytime. They officer behind the desk did not seem too interested. He told me that they are short staffed and simply my case was not a priority. It was a home burglary and that is the bottom of the list. He also told me that he was sorry for the delay but it was unreasonable for me to expect any answers 6 days in. That is a long process admittedly longer than it should be, but they honestly were doing the best they could. He said at that point my case had not even been assigned to anyone so there was no one to share the info with. I was so damn frustrated. He also told me that they had just done a major switch in the back and lots of people were in positions they had never been in so they were trying to iron out the wrinkles. He was polite but he gave me no hope. I felt defeated. I asked him what do I do with this info? I also found it odd that I got yelled at by red-neck-asshole-guy because as he says "time is of the essence in a crime" and here it was a week later and no one was working my case.!!! He took down my name and number and said he'd pass it on. I left. Honestly I gave up. "Fucking forget it" I'd said. I returned home to my misery. 
Since the robbery, my neighbor had become more worrisome than usual calling every time she heard a sound. Questioning me over and over about what I was going to do about my son. Reminding me constantly that she did not feel safe and she was sure her home was next. I tried to reassure her it was obviously someone who knew us, some teen because my jewelry and checks had not been taken only the kids stuff. She had nothing to worry about all she has is ole lady stuff that no one wants. But she made it about her. I was so annoyed. Here I could barely cope, I felt like hell and I had to go to work each day and carry on each day taking care of my kids all while dealing with the thoughts that my home was not safe, and wondering if my son was this terrible. I felt I failed my kids. They no longer felt safe. As a matter of fact Marlon had called his dad and asked to move in with them because he did not feel safe. That was crushing. Michael's moods swung from emotional to angry. I could not decided if he was guilty or not. And in the middle of all this the neighbor was super needy because she was alone and scared and I was made to feel responsible for that. It was a hard hard time for me and I had no where to turn. My friends and coworkers offered to help with the other kids as they saw me struggle emotionally and twice a coworker sent us dinner. It was all very nice but I felt alienated with my son as a suspect. Until Friday Night when I received an unexpected phone call........

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Robbery- Part 3- Suspect

I realize everyone wants me to get to the conclusion of this but I feel it is important to take you on the journey just as I went on it. That way you can feel the confusion, suspicion, and doubt. Don't worry it will eventually wrap up.

The night was rough. I awakened the next morning to get ready for work. David had agreed to stay home to secure the house and let in CCBI (Crime Scene People). I watched my son eat his breakfast. I stared at him wondering Could he have? Did he? What would I do of he had? What would I say to him if he hadn't? I was teary-eyed and emotional but needed to go to work. I straightened up a bit and placed a call to the police station like I had been instructed to do. Some red-neck asshole answered. I began to explain to him that I needed CCBI to come out. He cut me off rudely and said to me "you mean to tell me your home was robbed and you called off CCBI because you were tired?!"  The aggravation in his voice was apparent. I explained that I had small kids that were exhausted and terrified and we had waited 5 plus hours and I needed to do what was best for my children at that time. He yelled at me "do you not know that time is of the essence when there is a crime?!" I explained that we stayed away from the room in which entry had been made. He made a few other rude remarks. I was already emotional and could not understand what this dudes problem was. I explained to him that I am not a criminal therefore did not know how the justice system works. I was advised by the officer that it was okay to wait until the morning to call. He said "well you can call them yourself! I'm not calling!"  I was shocked. I was offended. I had been victimized and could not believe how rude this guys was. I hung up and called CCBI.
The CCBI people wanted to know why I was calling instead of the police. I was told by them that citizens do not call for their own investigations that call should be made from my police station. I explained that some guy down there refused to call and told me to call myself. The CCBI person was very nice and said he would look into that for me because that was handled completely wrong. He apologized on behalf of the police department and said he would send someone out asap. I  got into my car to head off to work and as I pulled out my gut was telling me what I had to do.  I parked my car, I reentered my home crying and went into Michael's closet to retrieve the shoes he had on the day before. I gave them to David. I said to him "give these shoes to them to see if the prints match." I felt horrible it was like leading my son to a slaughter. I could not help but feel I was betraying him and the feeling was awful. I then left for work.
The CCBI people came and managed to get two full sets of prints, they did not seem interested in the shoes? So now all I could do was wait .I went back the next day to see the neighbor. I interrogated her myself. She said she saw my son at 210p that was a time he should have been at school. She said she saw him walk down the road and meet up with a group of older boys one street over. She said there were 5 guys in hoodies waiting. At the time she thought it was odd but had no clue that my home had just been robbed. I then placed a call to my sons school. The attendance office verified he was there. I know that attendance is done at the beginning of the period so my son could have checked in and left. So I explained to the school what was going on and asked to speak with the teacher directly. I wanted to make sure my son was there at 215 when the bell rang. He was. I was relieved about that. I immediately shared that info with my neighbor who then said she may have been off by 10 or 15 minutes which meant my son could have been at school and could have made it home in time to do the crime. My relief was short lived.
Over the next few days I could barely look at my son without crying and wondering. All things ran through my head. I knew he was drug free. I had tested him again. So it just did not make sense. But neither did his demeanor. My other kids were still scared and full of questions. Michael was not. I had to adjust my work hours so that I could be home when they got home because Marlon was scared to be home alone. There was also tension between my two sons. They had blamed each other and were not speaking. I asked Michael over and over again. I hounded him with questions I searched his room. I stalked his facebook friends. I made it clear to him that he was the number one suspect and not only did I but the entire family treated him as such. 

A few days later I was still treating him weird I did not know what to think. If he would even speak to me I'd tear up. This was my baby. One particular evening I was sitting on the couch in the dark just thinking. He came in and sat down across from me. He meekly said "Mom, I did not do this" I did not answer. He then said "Mom you know I was a victim too. My stuff got stolen too." I did not answer. He looked at me sadly. I said to him "Michael she saw you." He replied "well maybe she was wrong. Maybe it was someone who looked like me." To that I said nothing. He told me  there is a kid that people mix up with him all the time. I could not believe he was still lying to me so I left the room in silence. 
Later that night David approached me and said he wanted to show me something. He pulled out his blackberry and showed me a picture of what looked like my son. But..it wasn't my son. He said it was a kid that went to school with Michael and Michael had showed him the picture. I stared at the picture. It was uncanny the resemblence this kid had to my son. Could this be the answer I prayed for? As I went through this kids facebook page it was clear he was in a gang. You can tell by the language and hand signs. I read all his wall posts about "getting that money" on the day my home was robbed. This kid was a complete menace to society. I spent hours picking apart his life through his face book friends. I discovered that this kid lived two streets over and walked past my street to go to school each day. I also found out that he had been in my home before. One day the boys were playing bball out front and he had walked up and asked Michael if he could get a drink of water. Michael brought him in our home.  By the end of the night I had a glimmer of hope.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Robbery- Part 2

I stand there, confused, violated, hurt, shocked, and angry. My home has been robbed and my neighbor has just identified my son as being the robber. I do not know what to think or how to feel. I do not think my son did this, but whoever thinks their kid has done anything? Having an eye witness just solidifies his guilt to me. I am yelling at him, he sits there in silence with tears in his eyes, and a look of anger on his face. Is he mad that he is accused or mad that he is caught? The neighbor and police officer are both just standing there staring at us both. I ask the officer "if my son is guilty can you arrest him?" Hard question to ask. I can barely form the words. But I do realize if my son had indeed did this I will have to take action. He says to me "no, he is only 15." I explain that he will be 16 in less than 30 days. Doesn't matter he says. He explains that basically if I pursue it my son will go to court, basically get a slap on the wrist as a first time juvenile offender he will probably get off with a warning and I waste time going back and forth to court. I am completely frustrated. He asks if I want the home treated as a crime scene. "Yes" I say. The officer resumes his questioning of us all and then after making a list of what was stolen:
2 XBox 360's
A Wii
An Ipad
A Nike Bag
10 Video Games
And Various other teenage gifts from Christmas.
The officer informs me that after totaling the value which is over $1000. It is now a felony and the game changes. He informs me that if my son is found guilty it will no longer be in my hands that the county will take it over because it is a felony and he will be charged as a felon. He also lets me know that once the process is started it cannot be stopped. He then asks me if I want to pursue it. I ask for a minute. I pull my son to the side. I say to him "did you hear that? Do you understand what he is saying?" I explain it to him. I beg  him to please tell me if he had anything to do with this. "If you did we will work it out here but you have to be honest. If you do not be honest with me I cannot help you." I am distraught.  He stands firm that he did not do this, At this point looking at all the evidence I feel he is guilty. I just want him to tell me why? Where did the stuff go? If he is in some sort of trouble? Are you being bullied? Is this gang related? etc. He refuses to give up any info and simply says. "I am innocent so do what you gotta do." He will not look at me. I try over and over to get him to break. He will not. I am defeated I have no choice but to resume with the investigation. 
We walk back into the dining room and I say to the police "okay call CCBI." He asks one more time if I am sure? I cry harder and say Yes. I have no other options. I look at my son pleading for him to fix this. He sits in silence. The call is made.. It is done. Now all we can do is wait. We are instructed not to touch anything and we wait. 3 hours pass. I call the police station and ask how much longer until the CCBI people arrive because we have work and school in the morning and everyone is already upset, hurt, scared and exhausted. They tell me they will have the officer call me. The officer calls me back and says it could be a couple more hours. It is 10pm. I struggle with the thought of having my kids observe a crime team in our home at 12am. I ask if they could just come in the morning. If we could seal the room of entry. I explain that my children and I are exhausted and really just want to go to bed. He says that will be fine. The officer tells me he is off for the next few days but to call the station in the morning explain what has happened and have them recall CCBI. At that point an officer will come and give me a report and case #. I thank him, and gather my kids up in my room to go to bed. Everyone makes a bed on the floor except for Michael. I go in his room. He is sitting on his bed. I am so mad at him, so hurt by him, but he is still my son. I tell him he can sleep in the room with us. He says "no I'm fine in here." Again that looks suspect to me. The other 3 kids are terrified, he does not seem scared at all. I return to my room and try to sleep. ....To be continued.

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Robbery-

During Winter Break I noticed that my boys would go days without sleep playing video games. It concerned me but I though hell it's winter break I'll let them live have a little fun. As the break neared it's end I decided that we should have a family meeting in which I discussed my concerns about their video gaming and its addictiveness. More importantly how hard it would be to transition back into a regular school schedule. So we agreed (they did not really agree) but it was decided that there would be no games until all chores have been completed, homework had been done and some form of studying occurred. And video  games would be limited to an hour in the evenings. 
So I arrive home, it's a Tuesday. My oldest son is out to eat with a friend and Marlon is sitting at the table studying. I start laundry and dinner. An hour later he asks if he can get on his game system. I check all his requirements to do so and I say sure. He stands there while I continue with my stuff. He finally says "well can I get my game?" "I don't have it" I say. "Well where is it?" he asked.  He says "really mom stop playing. Where are all the games?" I inform him that I have no clue. "They are not in your car or at your job?" he asks with a look of concern.(it is common for me to remove the systems from the home when they have been punished) I again inform him that I do not have them. My son tells me that all the game systems are gone. Maybe David took them I thought. So I called him to ask. He said he did not have them. I call my oldest son and ask if he hid them, he said no. I then realized we had been robbed! I know the correct term is burglarized but robbed sounds more serious so I'ma go with that. 
I call the police. Next I call my son and tell him to come home immediately that we had been robbed. In the next ten minutes David arrives home from work, and my son shows up. The police show up and come in and I start to explain that apparently while we were at work and school our home had been robbed. We had discovered an open window in my daughters room. That must have been the point of entry. There are footprints on the wall and under the window outside. Her curtains are crooked. The neighbor sees the police car in my yard and comes over. I fill her in. We are all gathered around the dining room table in shock while the police ask their questions. They ask times of when  we all left the home and then the time we arrived in the evening. We go around the table and answer. When it is my son's turn he responds that he just got there 2 minutes before the police did. My neighbor looks at him and says "no the first time you came home." 
What? What is she talking about? I look at her puzzled. My son says "this is the first time I have been home." She says "No I saw you. I saw you earlier today around 210pm. You were here." He looks shocked. He repeats "I have not been home since I left for school this morning." She says to him "do not lie. I saw you." My head is spinning. What is she implying? I look at my son searching for an answer. Why would he lie about coming home? She obviously saw him? I  then say "Tell me Michael did you come here?" "No I was with John at the Chinese Buffet!" He says defensively. I have been having issues with Michael in the past 3 months or so. Issues with skipping and lying but nothing like this. Unfortunately, in that moment I did not know what to believe. My neighbor says to him again "I saw you. You left the home and had a bookbag and a duffel bag." He again tells her she is wrong. "I was not here at all!" he yells with tears in his eyes. I cannot tell if the tears are anger or hurt or guilt. She asks me if he has a duffel bag. I say yes and then she says "if I see it, I will know if that is it." I  go get the bag from his closet. It is a black and blue Nike bag. I place it on the table and hold my breath. She looks at it and says "no it's similar but that's not it." I breathe a sigh of relief and then I hear her say "it was like that, but red." My heart drops. My other son has an identical bag in red. I ask him to go check his closet. Sure enough the bag is gone.......
I look at my son and yell at him "Did you have anything to do with this?" "No! I swear!" he yells back. The neighbor is still insisting it was him that she saw. He yells "call the school! l was at school!" I lose it. I begin to cry and yell "tell me the truth! I am gonna find out! I have to know did you do this!" I am searching his eyes for some indication of his innocence or guilt. He yells again "NO! My god I would never!" I want to believe him. He had never done anything like this but there is always the first time. I, sobbing, confused, mad, and hurt ask him again "do you know anything about this?" He yells again. "I had nothing to do with this! Why would I steal my own stuff come on!" He turns to the police and says "fingerprint me. Do whatever. I had nothing to do with this!" I want so badly to believe him but she saw him. And she sees everything. I am spinning. this is too much. Not my son. God please no..............To be continued.