Thursday, August 07, 2008

Life Doesn't Suck Because No One's Hurt and We Aren't In Jail Either

I've been accused of being a lenient parent, especially by people within the uber-conservative homeschooling community. If you consider letting my children make their own decisions on issues like hairstyle lenient, then I certainly am. If you consider letting them watch mainstream, age-appropriate television lenient, yeah. I'm not saying there are no rules in my home; quite the contrary. I firmly believe that children (and people in general) should be responsible, respectful, and fun to be with. We all have our standards, and those are mine.

All standards aside, we are and always have been the loud and perhaps obnoxious family on the block, and that has just become exponentially worse. I went grocery shopping today and came home to find my road blocked by a police car. There was no one in the car, and my driveway was just feet away, so I squeezed by it in my minivan and pulled into my driveway, where there was yet another police car and a police motocycle to boot. Men with guns were milling around on my front porch and my stepson was leaning against the railing looking very guilty.

Apparently, he was bored, and with the little ones gone, he decided it would be entertaining to set off a few firecrackers he had saved from the Fourth of July. (No, I am not cool with the fact that he had fireworks stashed away in a house full of small children.)

The neighbors thought they heard gunshots and called the cops. The cops arrived en masse expecting to find a shooting. And that's when I returned home with a trunk full of organic ice cream and veggie dogs (which were disgusting btw).

My stepson has a hefty fine to pay and my neighbors have something exciting to talk about. Hopefully we'll escape without fallout from the landlord, and of course I am so grateful no one was hurt or arrested as a result of this total lapse in judgment. I'm sure I'm not the only parent whose kids have, umm, lapses in judgment, and if trying to deal with this in a calm and rational manner makes me a lenient parent, I guess I'm there.