BY MANDI RENNIE
My number six child was a bit of a rebel. I had real problems getting him to come home from hanging out with his friends.
Well, I’d had enough, and, when he was 11, I told him that if he was late home tonight, no later than 7:30pm, he would be locked out in the cold all night. It was November, and I knew he hated the cold. Also, if he was on time, he’d get special hot chocolate, with cream, fudge chips, flake and sprinkles, as well as pizza from the takeout and a movie, whichever one he wanted (risky, I know, but hey, I needed to make it worth his while!)
7:30pm comes and goes, I lock the door. 8:15pm, sheepish knock at the door. There stands my lad, cold and without his jacket.
Ok, what bullshit excuse to explain the lateness and missing coat? He saved a man’s life! He tells me he was making his way home, on time, and he saw a guy, mid 20’s maybe? wandering around a few blocks from home. Only the guy was naked except for his boxers, and had no shoes on. Son knew this wasn’t right, so he started chatting to him to find out what was wrong. Guy told my lad he wanted to die as the voices were driving him crazy. Son was aware of mental illness as number one has schizophrenia and told the guy so.
He then managed to get a mobile from someone passing, and call the police to voice his concern. Remember, he’s 11. He told me he chatted, kept him off the road, safely, until the cops arrive. Guy then panics, so my lad tells him it’s ok, he will be fine, my lad wouldn’t lie to him, ect, till he gets into the police van and gets taken to hospital. He then gives a statement to the police, before coming home.
I call his bluff, and tell him I’m calling our local control room to check. Ok, he says, can he have a cup of tea to warm up while I do so. Yeah, ok I said.
I call and ask to speak to someone regarding my pre-teenaged sons assertions. I explain about the lateness, the threat to lock him out, the cocoa and pizza and about the movie. I also said I was aware he couldn’t give me details, as he was too young to have them all, but that was his story, should he be grounded longer for lying to his mum or was it actually, againast all odds, true?
Well, the cop on the phone burst out laughing, before calming himself. Apparently, he HAD saved this guy’s life, just as he’d said, and told the cops to cover him if he got in trouble, and that I needed to spoil this kid for a week, he was so in control of the situation that the police were impressed a kid of his age could hold his own!
I cried, I apologized to the cops, I apologise to my lad, and yes, he got whatever he wanted to eat, drink and watch for a whole week! He may have been a rebel, but he knows what to do when confronted by a man in boxers in November!!
Paul, I will never tire of telling people how proud you made me that night. Love you!!