My 13 yr old son got caught stealing at the mall.

The Husband and I just sat down to dinner. My cell phone rang. I actually debated whether I should answer it or not. Knowing my son was at the mall with his friends I figured I should. You know, in case of an emergency or anything.

“Hello, Jennifer?”


“This is Officer Riley down at The Commons, I have your son here at Kohls. Him and his friends we caught stealing and we need someone to come pick him up.”

I really do not remember what I said other than “ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME?!?!?!”

Officer Riley was not kidding.

The Husband leaves to go pick up our son, and I pour a double vodka. I mean clearly there has to be some reasonable explanation for this, right? Maybe they had the wrong kid? Yeah right, Officer Riley called my cell. Of course he did not have the wrong kid.

I spent the next half hour wondering where it was that I went wrong? How could my kid make such a stupid choice? I mean yes, he has made bad choices before. Like wearing red skinny jeans, but nothing like this. Why? It’s my fault. It has to be my fault, I am the mother. It is always the mothers fault.

Finally, they come home. The Husband is quiet. Which always means he is angry. My son decides to go straight to his room.

Oh heck no!!

“You better turn around and tell me everything, everything! Right now, I want an explanation.”

Do you want to know what he said to me? Oh, you will love it. “Gosh Mom, you just do not understand me. You think you understand me but you don’t”

Typical 13 yr old. They get caught doing something terribly wrong, and turn it around.

Whatever. This is not my first rodeo. Thanks to my 20 yr old son, I do have some kind of practice, although I have to admit stealing is a first for me.

After I calmed down, and by “calmed down” I mean another double vodka. We talked. All of us had a good talk. Did anything get resolved? Time will tell. Since the incident, which was only three weeks ago by the way, things have been better. He no longer has a phone, and he no longer has a life. School and home until he proves himself.


Bottom line, somewhere along the way the was some kind of misunderstanding going on.

Perhaps I misunderstood the pressure of being a 13 yr old boy?

Perhaps my son misunderstood  in no way shape or form will I put up with stealing.

Perhaps I misunderstood some signs along the way.

Or, perhaps we as a family misunderstood each other.

* This post was inspired by the one and only Mama Kat’s Writers Workshop.



6 thoughts on “Misunderstood?

  1. It is always that million dollar question we as parents ask ourselves…
    how are we not understanding what the choice of our teens make…
    I like how you talk about the misunderstanding from both angles.

    ~stopping by from Mama Kat’s

  2. What courage to put this “out there”. What I will say is that it is through the most stupid mistakes that kids can learn the most. And with teens I figure any mistake that results in anything short of death, we adults have to take a deep breath and help them (and ourselves) assess, “What have we learned here?” Even good kids make stupid choices…and that goes for good kids with good parents too. I wish you well in getting over this bump.

  3. I stole when I was in 8th grade and again when I was in 9th grade for no real good reason other than because I was too tempted. Luckily he got caught and hopefully he learned his lesson. I knew a lot of people in high school who were repeat offenders and would take BAGS of clothes from popular stores. It can always be worse! You’re doing a fantastic job…and also live extremely close to me it sounds like!

  4. Thank you for being so open and honest. I applaud you for considering your sons point about not understanding him while still holding him accountable.

    Thanks for linking up for #FlashbackFriday

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