HI everyone! We have been back from hawaii for a week. The week back has been one of reacclimating from 85 degrees and high humidity to 40's and 50's with rain and wind!! Too much of a change for me. OUCH!

This coming saturday... May 17th... we are hosting a Spokane reception for Sarah and Ryan for all those friends and relatives who were unable to join us in Hawaii. The weather has thwarted our mad rush to make our yard presentable. The weatherman is prediciting temps in the mid to high 80's by friday. Today it is 52 with rain for today and tomorrow. I am weeding between rain sprinkles. eyyych.

The past week has been very interesting and most bizzare. The second night we were home a few friends wanted me to join them at a nearby casino for dinner and celebrating a fellow nurses' 'divorce'. John had mowed the lawn for three hours it was so high and we have a large large yard. He was too tired to move.

My friends said they would bring me home if I could find a way there so we decided I could just take a taxi cab. No problem

He arrived to pick me up and I jumped in the front seat. The conversation was as follows.

:hi i am larry.
Hi thank you for picking me up.: I was just here last week. This is beginning to become a habit.
THIS HOUSE? LAST WEEK?: Yep You have a beautiful daughter. I am not sure which one she was but they were all beautiful!
: AT THIS HOUSE?:Oh yeah it was this house all right. I am sorry to tell you though there were five girls and they were drunk on their asses.
UMMM (trying to compose myself) We have been on VACATION the last two weeks in HAWAII. ALL of OUR daughters are married and some with children.: hooooy boyyyyy some one is in deep doo doo. Sorry but I can't lie. My super was on a ride along with me for my eval. Let me get her on the phone.
::Hi i am larry's supervisor. He just told me you weren't home when we did the pick up? Yeah five girls a few russian... dressed for the prom but sorry to say drunk as all get out.
:Yeah see I told you I wasn't lying.
Oh ummm man alive.
::Oh yeah did he tell you the call came for a pick up down the street from you?
But when we got there the house was all dark and there were a few boys down the street hooting and whistling and trying to flag us down.
: Hey we are going to drive right by it right here on the right. This one with all the cars..............the kids said they gave their buddy's address because they had no idea where they were staying. It was almost 4 am.

with a sinking feeling I looked at the house of our neighbors. Evander...17....visiting us since he was 7, eating dinners with us as often as he can..... wonderful parents and two of his sisters come to our house every monday for 'art day'. Evander the young man we have followed for ten years and attended games and what not in his activities. We had discussed with him and his parents if he thought he could feed our cats every evening and Ben the beta fish.

No problem. well I am now really upset with the news.
We had talked about just talking to evander about the incident but then we thought it should be discussed with his parents. It wasn't something little enough to disregard their knowledge. So i talked to his mom that next day. She was so devastated and embarassed. His Dad works out of town. He called us long distance and was also disappointed and embarassed.

John and I felt so bad for them. We didn't want them to feel like that but as all parents know, our kids aren't perfect. We as adults aren't perfect. We still make wrong choices and have to be accountable. None of us are exempt from a lapse in judgement.

Our kids know we had a few 'incidents' in their teen years. We can laugh about them now at least most of them. But we had to 'parent' within the scope of our values and skills and hope we were handling it the right way. Only they can say if we did or not.

That was Monday. Both parents asked us to wait to say anything to Evander until his dad came home this past weekend. They wanted to handle it as a united front and in person. So we had no problem with that.

Monday night Evander showed up and John paid him. He then joined us for dinner. We had a great visit sharing the wedding and vacation in hawaii and he caught us up on his track and field efforts. It was the usual when he is here. He said he had hoped it was okay his sisters were here playing with the cats while he was here. No that was fine. He said he hoped it was okay he watched tv while he was here. That was fine too.

When he left we laughed to each other and John said 'that pooooor kid. He will be completely 'blindsided'. hmmm tooo much 'survivor"? HA

This Saturday afternoon Evander walked into the yard---all 6'4' crying. He was here to apologize and talk to us. We brought him in the house away from prying little sisters and other neighbor kids. None of them know about it.

He was so sorry and so upset. He tried to give us back the money we paid him and John would hear none of that. He said evander you did the job we asked you to do.
You keep it."

He explained that his cousin and best friend knew he was house sitting and it was prom night. A bunch of them wanted to go somewhere and 'hang out'.
He kept saying 'no' then they were all egging him about 'no one will know etc.' He said he gave into the peer pressure.

He said all they did was come here and watch movies. The kids that were drunk had been drinking all night and they did not drink here. One boy brough a bag of liquor and evander said they couldn't drink here so they went outside.

Evander and his cousin both signed a no drinking /drug contract with the high school because they are both athletes. IF you break the contract your out of sports.

He takes his sports and his promise to not drink to heart. He told us everything they did or didn't do and we believe him. There was no reason to lie now. He said he had wanted to tell us a million times that monday night but he was too afraid.

We agreed he broke our trust and hurt us by not telling us. we just tried to encourage him to be honest with his parents, to seek their forgiveness and really show them he was sorry and would regain their trust.

We assured him things had not changed with us. We still love him and his family and we always know he is a very good person inside. We talked about our kids ... sorry kids... ha ... and how we know how it is to take advantage of not having parents (or neighbors) at home and how easy you can fall into making a not so wise decision.

It was such a random thing to call a cab and have it be the same one who picked the girls up. OH yes they were mostly exchange students. We told Evander that he was supposed to be found out. We also said that parents are supposed to teach their kids and each other about accountability. He said he was so glad he was 'caught'. He was having a terrible guilt problem and he felt so much better that his parents and us knew.

I tried to make a joke about how 'I was going to hang a whip on the front door because your Dad came by this morning and talked with us. We knew you were coming today.'

He lookead even more stricken and said "I was so scared walking down here that would have scared me even more." I told him Evander, you have to look for the humor in anything and everything no matter how awful it seems at the time. It may not feel funny but it helps you cope. (That is how I have coped with my life as a nurse in the field I was in. It is how I am coping with my disability.)

He offered to come down and help with the yard work before he goes to regionals this weekend. We gave him hugs and he cried even harder.

Evander is still a kid with great substance. He reminds us of our own children. He has a good heart and he tries so hard. He will turn out like ours.......very productive honest caring adults. ANd he will teach his children to be the same.

If anything we have strengthened our bond with him and his family. But isn't that what we are supposed to be about in the first place?


Alison Gibbs said...

Peer pressure is a terrible thing. I am sure Evander has learnt his lesson.
You are wonderful supportive friends and neighbours.
Hope the party on the weekend is fun for all
Have a great week

Lolly said...

You and John are so wonderful. Evander is lucky to have you in his life...

vivian said...

you and your husband are good people! I know god put you right were you are so you could have a godly influence on the children in your neighborhood! Its a ministry!