The Cops Can Have My Kid If She Does Something Illegal

Crime sceneI love crime TV. OK, scratch that — I am in love with crime TV. (You do know, of course, that there’s a difference between love and being in love?) Folks are all wrapped up in Jersey Shore and Housewives drama, but I’ll get sucked into a forensics file or a murder investigation in a hot second. Dateline, Snapped, anything on serial killers? I’m all over it. The Investigation Discovery channel is a blessing to me. The cancellation of America’s Most Wanted drove me to a bout of sadness.

So I watched something or another about a fugitive who got a little homesick and wanted to visit with her family after being on the lam for almost a year with her bank robber boyfriend. They took her back, convinced her to flip on her man, and put her up until she turned herself in. Oh, but turn herself in she would if I were in that position. As much as I love Tween Girl, I’d hightail her to the pokey with the quickness.


Actually, if she pulled a stunt that required the cops to be involved in the first place, the very spot where I found out might turn into its own crime scene. I ain’t Ma Barker and I ain’t raising my child to be a criminal.

So I can imagine the disappointment a mama must endure when she finds out that her kid has been hauled off to jail for doing something stupid. Because let’s face it: most folks don’t get hauled off to jail for doing something smart. Like poor Barbara Bell, mother of the knuckleheads who’ve become new inmates and headline-makers as the Doughtery gang. She uses the word ‘devastated’ and I think that about sums it up. That wouldn’t stop me from kindly dialing 911 to sing like a caged canary if I came across any information that could’ve helped police with their capture, though.

I know it’s easier blogged than done, but I’m confident in this: if my child ever came to me to confess her illegal actions, I’d do my best to convince her to go to authorities rather than drag out the inevitable. But if she still wouldn’t cave to the pressure of doing the right thing — which I’d been instilling in her since she made her grand debut in the world — I’d be the one to pick up the phone and give the cops a call.

The way I see it, you can’t preach about honesty and integrity and compassion for others and then turn around and harbor someone who willingly and knowingly did wrong, especially when other people are involved. Even if that person you’re making the call about is your own child. I know mothers personally who will vehemently defend their kids — right, wrong, or otherwise. They’re always at the school cussing out a teacher or at practice making a spectacle in their child’s honor.

A mom can be in her kid’s corner without endorsing their every action. But mom also has to sleep at night and I couldn’t do it knowing I was basically helping my child get away with murder (or bank robbery or attempted assault ...).

If you found out your child was doing or had done something illegal, would you be able to push Mommy-ness aside and turn them in?


Image via alancleaver_2000/Flickr

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