Yesterday, we got an unusual phone call from one of Casey's friend's moms. Her voicemail message was cryptic. She made a comment about her child being called to the principal's office and there being an "issue." The implication was that Casey also made a trip to the principal's office.
So I called the principal's secretary to figure out what happened. Something was not adding up - Casey usually tells us if something happens at school. He's never kept from us getting into trouble. Then again, he's never been summoned to the principal's office either.
So the secretary tells me that Casey was called in. She has his statement right there in front of her.
At this point, I am doing an internal happy dance because my Casey - my beautiful, funny, but not-so-verbally-advanced Casey - gave a statement. And I got the impression it was in writing. (Later, Jason and I joked that maybe we could use that as a writing sample for his portfolio- we were so happy he put something down on paper that was coherent. And we figuratively high-fived ourselves for his fantastic tutor.)
Anyway, apparently boys at school are pantsing each other. And one of Casey's friends did it to him. I stifled my laughter when the principal's secretary told me this and simply said, "Wow. I'm so glad Casey wore underwear yesterday. He doesn't always." I know she was thinking, "I know, right?"
The perpetrator's mom is someone we know. And she felt terrible.
When I asked Casey about it later, he said he didn't want to talk about it because the whole thing was "inappropriate." Casey was not mad at his friend for doing this-- he blamed the kid who incessantly pressured the pantser into acting. He was slightly embarrassed but mostly just wanted to move past the incident.
So here's the thing. Parenting is hard. Sometimes our kids make poor choices-- even bad choices. And as parents, it's not always easy to know how to handle it. Do you defend your child - even if just publicly? Do you reach out to the victims of your child's poor choices? And if you do, what do you say? -- especially when your child has already offered a heartfelt apology? Well, this mom did reach out to me. No excuses. She offered a straight up apology to me and to Casey. And I gotta say - I was impressed. So often now, I hear about why a person's failures and mistakes are not that person's fault. I hear a lot of excuses and a lot of blame.
So a little bit of responsibility goes a loooong way with me. And I'm glad Casey has chosen friends whose parents see the value in personal responsibility, even when it's embarrassing or awkward. I hope this is a trend. I hope our generation of kids accepts responsibility for their mistakes and poor choices so that they can actually learn from them and truly move forward. I hope I'm always as strong and wise as Casey's friend's mom.