It’s been a rough couple of days. There’s fury and rage but also a little sadness in there. Sadness because for just a minute I forgot how nothing’s promised in this world, even something as simple as being on the lake.
For my new people or those who don’t know me in real life — we’re not precious snowflake parents. I’m under no illusion that my teens do no wrong; rather we’re of the belief there are times when handing someone their ass is necessary. That said, I think you’ll see where things went horribly wrong this week.
Note: I’m writing this with my teens’ permission.
The kids were riding jet skis with a friend while BrightSide and I hung out on the dock, catching up and wondering when these guys got so grown. I remember the days of four hour tubing sessions — yes, I know, precious memories and such, but hours on the water wrecks havoc on my back so we like this stage. And that happy feeling hung around right up until the kids pulled back to the dock.
You know that moment when you look at someone’s face and there’s trauma all over it? Time stood still.
Two wildlife commission boats had pulled them and their friend to question them about going too fast in a no wake zone. Now I’ve got lots of questions about the Why — they weren’t pulled coming out of the channel or after passing the marina, they were just…pulled. After forty-five minutes of riding around. Hmm. Regardless, we’ll set aside why and talk about How.
Their friend went over to one boat while my kiddos stuck together at the other and I thank God for it.
The officer asked if they’d gone too fast through the no wake zone and one answered yes because a) teens but also b) we’ve drilled into their heads things almost always get worse when you lie. That’s when the officer asked for their boating licenses then rested his hand on his gun while he waited. I’ll just let that sit there for a moment…it would be disconcerting for most, but for a Black teen trying to get out their license? Nothing short of terrifying.
The officer used this time to repeatedly threaten to write a fifty dollar citation. He talked about how they could be sent to juvenile detention. He kept asking if those were their jet skis. It was only toward the end he asked their ages and finally told them he wouldn’t write the ticket. He took photos of the jet skis, though, which didn’t ease their minds.
Not great, right? So bad in SO many ways, how could it possibly get worse? I’ll tell you how. It got worse after I asked Bear to compare notes with their friend.
Hey, did your guy rest his hand on his gun while you got out your license? What?! No!
Did he threaten to write a fifty dollar ticket? No!
Did he mention fifty dollars at all? No, he didn’t.
Well, did he bring up juvenile detention? What? NO. He just talked to me about how I looked like a good kid and not to give in to peer pressure.
All three are teens. All pulled over at the same time after driving around the lake together.
Guess what color their friend is.
Fury. Rage. I’ve got all the feelings.