Sunday, June 13, 2010

Middle of the Night Visitor

At 3:38 a.m., I heard a voice outside my bedroom window.
"Mom? Dad?" Spencer's voice called from the front porch.
"Everything's okay. I just need to be let in," he said.
He was supposed to be spending the night at a friend's house. I scrambled out of bed and wondered if he was sick. Maybe the boys had decided to drink alcohol or experiment with drugs, so Spencer came home. All of these thoughts flitted through my mind as I scrambled out of bed to the front door. I never suspect the worst of Spencer. I never think he'll make the wrong choice.
As I turned the key in the lock, I saw someone standing behind Spencer. Someone big and I became worried. This man, because it was obviously a man, was standing with his feet spread wide, both hands in front of him in a military "at ease" position. This was a cop.
I opened the front door and the young police officer began to explain.
"Why don't you come inside?" I suggested, aware of the short exercise shorts and tank top I'd worn to bed and wishing I'd had a little warning of a night time visit from the police.
I could see Spencer was fine. Just in trouble.
So they came into the living room and Spencer collapsed on the couch, running his hands over his face.
The officer explained that he had found Spencer and a couple of other boys outside after curfew. When they spotted the boys, they ran and hid in the bushes. Then a car picked them up and they drove away. The police pulled the car over.
I was picturing a high-speed pursuit through our little town.
The boys said they hid because they saw the police. They claimed they weren't doing anything wrong.
"I'm so sorry, Mom," Spencer said from his perch on the couch.
"What about telling this officer your sorry that he has to bring you home instead of doing his job?" I asked.
"I'm so sorry, sir," he said.
Then he moans and rubs his face again.
The officer said the boys aren't being charged with anything, just curfew violation. And he warns that the school is very strict about taking away sports and extracurricular activities if the boys had been charged with a crime. Then he asks me to sign that a paper that says he delivered my son home in the middle of the night after curfew. In our town, anyone under 18 can't be wandering the streets after midnight.
We'd been standing in the dark of the living room, a light from the top stairs of the basement giving us just enough light to see. I turned on a lamp by the front window and signed the document on a clipboard. I shook hands with the officer who didn't let his eyes stray to the wild curls standing around my head.
I switched on the front porch light as he made his way down the 24 steps to the street.
I held my hand out for Spencer's phone, which he was wildly texting on.
"Have you heard from the other boys?" I asked. "Is everybody home safely?"
"Yes," he said.
So I took the phone and turned it off.
"Have you guys done this before?" I asked.
Yes again.
"We'll talk in the morning," I said. "Are you sleeping here on the couch or going to your room?"
Tucker had two friends spending the night and they were sprawled in the basement main room.
"Don't tell them, okay?" he said desperately, settling on the couch.
"Oh, I'm sure you'll be an object lesson for many boys," I told him.
I climbed into bed next to my still sleeping husband. I nudged him awake and gave him an update on the police and our now delinguent son.
"He's grounded," my husband mumbled before he fell back to sleep.
I lay there for over an hour before I finally drifted off.
Our children's first brush with the law.

4 comments:

Sheila said...

My first thought was you had me beat on that one, but I guess we did get a phone call from the police when Daniel had his driving incident up at Easton many years ago.

Lets meet for coffee this week so we can chat. (I'll even break my no coffee rule, I've been looking for a good excuse!) I'm free everyday (including today) until Friday when we leave for NC.

BFF said...

When this happened to Hannah she was so upset that I didn't even have to ground her. She lost the keys to the car for a few days and was mortified. It is so disconcerting when the one you never expect to make a bad choice does. It hurts your feelings somehow. He is a goof boy but how did he think someone as tall and pale as he is could hide from the cops? A great lesson there I believe.

Linda said...

I've had this happen too. My oldest son also totaled three cars before it was all over.

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

I am sorry that this happened to you and your son, but I am sure lesson is learnt.. we always dread the knock on the door at night ..

I cannot believe they have a curfew.. but I do think it is a great thing to have in place... We NEED THIS IS in the UK... we have so many problems at night .. well even the day.. but at night is worse .. but the young ones here have no respect !!

thank you for leaving a comment :-) Not everywhere in London has good markets, believe me.. this is a ONE off market it is amazing.

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