When life throws you curve balls...........
Yesterday was one of those days....we all have them....there's usually a lesson to be taught, a lesson to be learned and a mental image burned so deep you don't make that mistake a second time.
My husband took our youngest son with him to the store to pick up a few things we needed for the lake, every weekend is spent at the lake among friends and family, its a safe place to let the kids run free and the parents can sit back and enjoy other adult company and conversation.
Lil Jimmy decided to make a bad decision........he saw a small package of Nike sweat wrist bands and took them without paying for them......yes, he shoplifted. Now DH didn't even realize this until they were half way home.....what did DH decide to do you ask? He decided to let Mom handle it.............Thanks HUN!!!!
My son tearfully told me what he did, but could not explain to me or himself why he did it. I said, "You know we are going back to the store and finding the store manager and make this right don't you?" And as he hung his head in shame he whispered "Yes" I said it's not only the right thing to do, but it will make you feel better about yourself, because I'm sure your not feeling good about you right now, are you?" He whispered, " No.... I'm not ." He actually asked or should I say begged to be grounded forever, have some of his favorite things taken away from him, even spanked.......anything but suffer the humiliation of admitting to the Manager what he did, he was truly embarrassed........But I thought good lesson..... taught the hard way.
We drove to his bank, took out a 10 dollar withdrawal, and drove silently back to the store, I asked to speak to the manager at the service desk, I was asked as to why, I stated personal reasons and we waited for the Manager to arrive. Within a few minutes he approached us, I introduced myself and my son and told him my son had something to tell him, he escorted us to his office with my son in a hyperventilation state (true). We gave him a moment to catch his breath, I gave him a wink and he spilled his guts.
The Manager was a very nice man, who told my son that he didn't have to come back to the store and own up to what he did, and then he praised him for taking responsibility for what he did. He gave him a run down of what could of happened to my son, if they decided to press charges or if he was actually caught shoplifting.......the police would of been called, other agencies because he was a minor, and how his parents can be held liable for him with the store having the right to collect up to 10 times the amount stolen......My son apologized to the Manager and then to me and told the manager he wanted to do the right thing and pay for the item with his own money.
Now for Mom's twist on what to do........Yes, I made my Son pay for the item.... tax and all, but he was not allowed to buy the item, the item was returned to the store and the money given was donated to the stores current fundraiser, which happened to be for breast cancer research.
I told my Son that there are going to be plenty of times that I might not be proud of him or his choices, but that I.... his Momma is always going to love him and even though he made a wrong decision that day, I was very proud of him when he stood up and took responsibility for it. He was able to walk out of there with his head held up high again because he righted the wrong that he did and felt better about himself. I'm sure he's going to remember that ride home from the store (when he was caught), the ride to his bank and then the ride back to the store with that long walk back to the Managers office......it was probably the longest 45 minutes of his 12 year old life.
A lesson, a lil humiliation and a hug and all was right in the world again.