Yesterday I met with the parents of the kids involved in the earlier projectile incident. The mothers of the two boys who admitted to shooting the BB rifle in question were very apologetic. The ladies seemed like genuinely nice people, too, and it was a shame to have met them in this specific situation, since a different one would have been much more conducive to friendship. At least one of the mothers hadn’t known about the incident until a deputy showed up at her house to inform her of the complaint against her son. They agreed without question to cover the damage to the windows and said they would have done the same thing in Eleya’s shoes. I remember an occasion when my brother’s exploits forced my parents into much the same role as these two mothers, which I have to admit softened my mood quite a bit.
Furthermore, the boys attended and apologized not just to me, but also the mothers and boys insisted on going across the street to our house and apologizing to Eleya. Like me, she’s not big on confrontation, but she had a harder time “keeping it together” since, for her, this was a big release of a lot of stress she’d been holding in. She got a little bit misty when she talked to the boys about how she had felt, and that one day they would understand her anxiety when they had kids of their own. She really got through to them, and the mothers of course sympathized too. One of the boys was visibly moved that he had upset her so, and asked if he could give her a hug. It was actually quite a touching denouement and everybody felt better after we had all met and realized that there were no bad feelings harbored.
It’s easy to let anger blind you to the fact that most people, when it comes down to it, are pretty decent folks who, when given the opportunity, will do the right thing. Teenage boys are a little less so, but we’ve all been there, I think. ? In that vein, I told the mothers that I would reach out for the deputy and, if he would give us any say in the matter, and given the mature and responsible way the boys handled the situation — once they realized it was indeed serious — I would try to get the complaint reduced or waived if possible. I left a message for the deputy yesterday afternoon but haven’t heard back from him yet. If I can’t intervene in the process at this point, I will probably make a point of attending any court hearing I can, to say something positive for the boys.
Danger! Conflict! Redemption! Yup, this blog’s got it all.