I'm sad to admit it but I have a family member who is doing hard time.
She is a criminal.
I got a call from one of the grandchildren's mother this week informing me of the sad news. She was exasperated and didn't know how to handle the situation. She recognized that beheading wasn't really the best option. (Thank goodness!) That was the option she was considering at the time, however.
You see, one of the grandchildren - who shall remain nameless - had commited a series of criminal offenses.
First, she had swindled her sister out of a pretty large sum of money. She added that to her stash to make a total of thirty dollars. Swindling - first criminal offense.
Next, she had taken that money to school secretly. She spirited that big wad of money into the school library where there was a book fair taking place.
Now, keep in mind that this grandchild's - who shall remain nameless - mother had already accompanied her to the book fair on the previous Friday and allowed her to spend a couple of dollars more than was budgeted. Criminal offense two - sneaking behind Mama's back.
Then, this grandchild - who shall remain nameless - spent the entire thirty dollars on books. Books focused on a topic of her choice. Books that her sister might care nothing about reading. Books that were too difficult for her sister to read at this point even if she was interested in reading that genre. Criminal offense three - splurging on something selfishly.
Sadly, the next step was that this granchild - who shall remain nameless - tried to hide the ill-gotten goods - criminal offense four.
You see, normally, the grandchildren come in from school and drop their backpacks and get a snack before tackling homework. On this sad day, said grandchild - who shall remain nameless - trekked directly to her bedroom. She wiggled down beside the dresser and was sliding the ill-gotten goods into a hiding spot in the closet. I know this because her angry, frustrated, ready-to-behead-mother had followed her suspicious behavior and caught her red-handed.
So, now this grandchild- who shall remain nameless - is doing hard time.
She has chores to do. Lots of chores. She's doing her chores and her sister's (the swindle-ee) chores. She's also doing extra chores that Mama usually does. Hard time.
She has no screen time. No TV. No tablet. No iPod. No Chromebook. No screen time. Hard time.
She cannot buy ice cream at school. Hard time.
She is going to have to give the books away. Before she reads them. Hard time.
The most frustrating experience of all, I think, was what she endured before going to school the next day.
You see, this grandchild - who shall remain nameless - had to empty her pockets, have her purse, lunchbox, and backpack searched. She was frisked to check her socks, boots, etc. Whilst this was taking place, she was trying to convince her mother that she had learned her lesson and the search wasn't necessary. To which her mother looked her in the eye and replied, "You have broken my trust. You will have to be checked like this every day until you have earned back my trust."