heard on the street
“A warrant is out for his arrest?!” MOAT mom Jennifer could barely believe her eyes as she stared at the text.

I thought nothing much about her comment, assuming she was referring to one of the many people she and her family help throughout the day. … Apparently, no such luck.

After a few, “okay”s, she sat down. Our little gathered group couldn’t help but ask the obvious… what’s up?

Poor girl took a deep breath and started out, “That was my son.”
(gasp! from the crowd) … “I just can’t believe it.”

(A quick character study of today’s player: the girl boarders on sainthood. Mother of five. Servant of many. She’s purposeful, encouraging, selfless, bubbly … Okay, I might spit on her if she wasn’t so darn great. Plus she’s really cute. I try not to stand too close. I find the best strategy for tired and disheveled is to stick together… at a small distance from those put together types. Us flakey folks tend to pop out of the crowd when standing next to the With-Its :)

I couldn’t believe it either … not one of their kids ~! She went on to explain.

“A couple weeks ago our 16-year-old was backing up the car. He bumped into the car behind him. It was the tiniest scrape, but the police were called and he got a ticket. Then, a week later, he got a speeding ticket. This landed him in front of a judge. Since he had 2 infractions so close together, the judge told him he needed to pass a driver’s test in order to reinstate his license… of course, within a certain amount of tim.”

“Well, today was the last day. So, trying hard to let him be a man and handle things himself, I left this morning with a ‘good luck’, ‘you can do it’ little speech and went on my way. (I did a little equipping jig and a “yes! let the kid do it himself” fist-pump...in my head. I try not to embarrass myself too much.)

“I can’t believe this is happening. I guess I should’ve stepped in…. He just texted to tell me that not only did he fail the driving test, he can’t do anything because he has a warrant out for his arrest. … Ohhhhh…. The timing just couldn’t be worse.”

She wasn’t kidding. Two days ago, her 29-year-old, super healthy brother awoke to a mouth that could form no words and appendages that refused move. Rushed to the hospital, doctors have been working to find out how, why and what can be done. The family has been at his side around the clock. That alone would be enough. But not this family. Jennifer’s folks have been fostering kids for years. Right now they have two little girls. Two girls that have major health issues requiring extensive medical attention and long hospital stays. Jennifer’s mother is headed to Cook’s Children’s Hospital today for one of the sweet little things to have her pallet remade, plus a few other “minor” things (that would be “major” in our house). She, and the entire helpful family, will going from one hospital to the next, juggling cases for many weeks to come.

“He’s 16! I mean, he’s a man. I told him, ‘Here’s your chance. Step up to the plate. You can do this on your own.’ … What was I thinking? I should have gone with him. But I mean, really… He’s 16!”

I couldn’t believe it either. So much for my Poly-Anna hopes that if you push an age-appropriate kid out of the nest, he’ll fly.  Maybe not soar, but at least stay off the ground. Not so much for this kid and mom who was doing her best to steer clear of the Enabling Factor. No, this was lower than the ground. It was more like a big old hole.

Here sat Jennifer, with a mammoth “you’ve got to be kidding” expression on her face. We tried to cheer her, offer encouragement like, “It’s not that bad.” (nervous laugh), and “You know, warrants seem much worse in theory than in reality.”, buttressed by the hopeful, “I’m sure the judge will understand.” … But really. What could we say. She left for a moment to call the kid.

A few minutes later, she came back. Here’s a play-by-play of their conversation:

“Okay, tell me what happened.” concerned mom struggling with disbelief.
“Mom. I tried. I pretty much failed.”
“I don’t know what happened. I mean… Well…”
“So what do you want me to do? I guess I need to leave and come get you.”
“The guy just failed me… And with that warrant, I don’t know what else to do.”
“Mom – ”
“I’m coming right n-”
” I guess I-”
“MOM!  Listen – ”
“Mom. I’m just kidding. I passed. I passed!! – It’s okay.” he starts to laugh.

Oh, yeah. He went there. She didn’t find it as funny as I did.  … Is that not so like a boy?! I just loved it. He could probably work on his timing … but that, my friend, was some good Dinner Dashing! (Quick Draw)

My hope is restored. These kids can fly!

Thanks for walking the road with me.

(still loving that.. He DID do it alone. Just for a moment, can we appreciate what successful navigation of the DMV does for an adult, let alone a kid!!!  Here’s a shout out to Jennifer… .YOU ROCK sister.)

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