Monday, January 31, 2011

The Call to Mom

Stevie had been asleep when the bedside phone sounded at midnight. "Mrs. Van Home, this is the director of Lakeside Pines Camp," the voice said. "I'm sorry to be calling so late." Startled wide awake with worry, Stevie immediately jumped to conclusions: "Is Shawna all right? Has she been hurt? Is she ill?" The camp director calmly described where he had found Shawna and her friend, how they were dressed, and what they were doing. He said, “You need to come pick her up." Stevie couldn't believe it. Like most teenagers, Shawna had her moments of mischief and rebellion. But sneaking out of camp after hours to meet boys at a tavern was beyond anything Shawna would try. She wasn't a boy chaser, and she didn't even own suggestive clothing. The camp director was clearly reading more into the incident than was actually there.

"Can't you just ground Shawna until Sunday?" Stevie asked. “A trip to Lake Arrowhead will take at least two hours.” The director answered, “If you'll promise to be here before breakfast tomorrow, I'll put Shawna in the nurse's cabin for the rest of the night." "Before breakfast?" Stevie moaned. "Mrs. Van Home, if our kids don't face immediate consequences for their misbehavior, they won't learn respect for the rules." Stevie hated it when someone offered unsolicited parenting advice—especially when the advice was right.

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