Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Turning the page

It's been a couple of busy days. Yesterday about 2:00 pm I'm at work and the school nurse calls me to tell me that Coty fell playing basketball and she couldn't rule out if his arm might be broken. Paul picked him up while I left work and drove to the hospital where I met them. After waiting as usual it was determined that he has a hairline fracture. They put his arm in a sling and sent us on our way.

We left there only to be home about 30 minutes and run right back out the door for his final "drug class" which was a mandatory ruling on his unofficial probation. 9 weeks of mandatory drug class, for having a joint at the homecoming dance last fall. Coty has completed all the necessary rulings put forth to him by his intake officer he can finish out the current school year where he is and then return to the correct school in the fall with no criminal record.

Today me, Mr. Paul, Trae, Brook (his girlfriend), Eddie (another witness friend of Trae's), and Kim, Brook's mom had to arrive to court for Trae's 2nd degree assault charges filed against him last October. Initially everyone we know, sheriffs, security involved, Judge friends, everyone said Trae would be fine. Never been in trouble before, no record, good kid, basically model citizen, he would be fine so we opted to just use the Public Defender instead of hiring a Lawyer. With Mr. Paul not working it would have put a huge financial strain on our family.

When we arrived to court we sat near the front where Brook and her mom had already sat. There was a line of folks standing in the middle that had to check in. I had never seen Michael the bully before but I happened to look up and this 30 year old guy is standing in line looking right at me with this huge smirk on his face. I turned to Trae and asked if that was him, and he said yes. I looked again at Michael who stood in the line literally 3 feet away from us and he still was staring at me smiling. I swear I wanted to gouge out his eyes.

The first guy called was 22 years old, also clean record. He had apparently had spray painted a couple of buildings in the local community with some type of symbol or whatever. He had lost a great job because of it. He was a high school drop out who quit school his senior year. His lawyer was trying to say that without an education or degree he was lucky to have landed such a job. Then he got another somewhat decent job in which he was laid off recently from. When the Judge was done talking the officer in court walked up the guy and handcuffed him right then and there and off he was going to serve his jail time. At this point I began to freak. I started crying and found myself angry with Mr. Paul for not hiring an attorney like I had requested. My heart was racing, my hands shaking and the tears wouldn't stop falling.

Then I hear them call Trae's name. OMG he's going to jail, I just knew it. I began to panic. Trae stood in the front on the left of the courtroom next to his public defender. The State's attorney began reading the charge and statement provided by Michael. Then she turned and asked Michael who was sitting in the last row of the courtroom (where bully's always sit) if he wished to address the court. Of course he said yes, and walked to the front. He spoke how he politely asked Trae to pull his pants up and Trae was rude, disrespectful and spoke vulgarities to him for no reason. He said that he was having to get surgery on his jaw. That's when I about exploded. WHAT? How stupid do you really think this court is??

Then Trae's attorney began to say what really happened. The Judge asked Trae if he wanted to talk. I had already informed Trae he was to address the court regardless of whether he wanted too or not. He better say something. So he did, then they called up Mr. Paul. Mr. Paul talked about Trae, his involvement in baseball, his attitude and how this was out of the box for Trae. Mr. Paul really spoke highly of Trae as anyone would their child but he also mentioned that he could really call anyone that knew Trae and they would tell the court the same thing. Trae has always been for the most part a model kid.

I sat in anticipation, scared to death. My son was facing a Judge who had made it perfectly clear he was not playing around. He gave Trae a PBJ (Probation before Judgement) for 2 years. Meaning that if he doesn't have any further issues with the law in 2 years he can have this expunged from his record, a fine totalling 160.00 due today, and either 40 hours of community service (which costs 150.00) or 2 days in jail. I watched as Trae and his attorney whispered wondering what he would decide. She speaks up he will take 2 days in jail but requested it be during the weekend due to him being in school. OMG my son is going to jail????????

Then the Judge says Trae you will serve the weekend of May 8th in the Charles County Detention Services. I panicked OMG prom. Since we were in the front row, I began whispering Trae's name, he finally turned around and I mouthed the word "Prom". He whispered to his attorney and she asked the judge to do this coming weekend since that particular weekend was the prom. I thought no worries here. Then the Judge says, this isn't a hotel Trae, you socked a guy in the jaw. Oh great just the attention Michael was seeking. However the Judge did agree to this coming weekend. Friday I get to drop my son off in jail and pick him up on Sunday.

The bottom line to my last two days is that two very stressful issues that have been hovering over my family's heads since fall of 2009 are finally over. We can now turn the page to these disasters that have held my family captive for over 6 months now.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Facebook reunites

I have become quite the junkie on facebook. I have reunited with friends from my old stomping grounds, my nephews, nieces, brothers and sisters, and people I see everyday. It's funny how fun it can be to see how all your old high school friends are doing, where their lives have taken them and where they are.
I have to admit that I have had to pull out my yearbooks and look to see who some of them are. I find that not everyone looks exactly as I remember. I don't know why either it's only been 20+ years. LOL Some of them amazingly enough haven't changed a bit. Some I don't remember at all, but find that their friendship to me now is very important. Their daily posts, their inspirational words to mine, I can't stop.

I have always been one of those people that looking at me describes my mood without me even saying a word. One guy at my job says he can tell my mood based on the way I have applied my makeup that day. I always used to post exactly the way I felt that day as my daily post. Then I was at a friends house one day and another friend came over and made a comment that her husband avoids me because my life carries too much drama. Although it was a very innocent comment, I found I was very offended by it.
I can't help it if my teens give me a dose of reality everyday. I can't help it that I lead a very busy and hectic life. I have always felt that one of the best qualities I hold is the fact that I am always honest about my feelings and although I will avoid conflict at all costs, I refuse to lie. I always thought that when someone asks me what's up that they really wanted to know. I had never thought that it was just a comment people make when they see someone. Now I find that because of that comment I never post anything on my facebook that is negative or "drama". For that matter I haven't even done blogs lately because I have been feeling like I need to be careful of what I write so as not to offend anyone.
Well the other day I was talking with one of my old buddies and they confided some personal things with me that are not so different than my own circumstances and I felt good they felt as if they could talk to me. They said how my facebook posts inspire them and allow them to know who I really am. Now of course this got me to thinking. Who is this person I have become on facebook and blogs that I have allowed myself to be?

This blog for instance is my online diary. I started it as my therapeutic way of saying what's on my mind and how I feel, and yet I have stopped writing it because I worry I might offend. Well no more, this is my site, these are my feelings, and reading it is completely optional. If you don't agree with me there is no problem with that, but I still have the right to say how I feel on my own site.
So from now on it is what it is, and if for whatever reason you have a problem with something I have written well you have several choices. You can not read it, you can leave a comment, you can delete me or you can do whatever you like but I am going to be true to me and say how I feel and what is on my mind.
After reading facebook, I have noticed one thing, regardless of who you are or where you live, the issues, drama, problems I have are really not that different than anyone I know. Some people hide behind the computer screen and pretend their lives are a fairy tale but in reality we all know better.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Easter 2010

Today we spent the day as a family. Which for those of you that have 15+ year old kids, you know that is something that is few and far between. The two oldest are becoming more independent and have many other things that occupy their time. When I awoke Sunday morning I made biscuits and gravy for breakfast for everyone. Then I came up with several ideas of things we could do for the day as a family. I didn't ask them if they had plans, I just assumed that when I used the phrase family day they understood it.

Everyone agreed to the Washington DC Zoo which was amazing. No complaints, no can this person or that person go too, nothing. Everyone got ready and off we went. I would like to say when we made these plans we forgot about the DC Cherry blossom festival. Now that was an issue. There were thousands of tourist everywhere and of course as you can imagine, traffic was not moving as planned. In addition there really isn't anything that annoys Mr. Paul worse than wall to wall traffic so that was a problem.

But we eventually made it to the zoo and we saw many animals. I asked a couple strangers to take a photo of us, which my kids just thought was the end of the world, but they too eventually got over it.

It was a perfect day - weather was nice but not scorching hot. We topped off the day by having dinner at the California Pizza Kitchen in Alexandria, VA.