Last week around 10:00 at night the doorbell rang. I immediately went into defense mode because no one was expecting anyone to come over and it was a school night. School night simply meaning that someone has to get up early. That someone during the summer is me, the mom. I went downstairs to answer the door and it was a kid that my son knew from school. He was around 6 feet, well built, soft spoken and he was barefoot. I asked him where he lived. He told me. I asked him if he was OK. He said he didn't want to talk about it. Polite and soft spoken. He was nervous. He asked me to use the computer to send his dad an email for him to call him on my son's phone. OK, so now if this sounds crazy to you, it sounded crazier to me. He used the laptop and I went upstairs. I was gathering my thoughts. After conversation with my son and then my boyfriend, I had enough mental ammunition to continue the dialogue with this child. I discovered that he and his mother had gotten into a verbal fight. He did not want to talk to me about it. I asked him if he hit her and he said no. I asked him if she hit him and he said no. He asked me if he could stay and I told him that as much as I would like to say yes, I could not. I told him that I did not want to take him to the police. I told him that since he is 16 I could be charged with taking him and keeping him. I could lose my children. I asked him if he had relatives that he felt that he could call to come and pick him up. He said he had relatives that lived in town; however he had left the house without his cell phone and of course did not know their number. He did tell me he knew where they lived. I told him that I was going to take him to their house. He asked me again if he could stay. I told him again that he could not and that if he did not want to go to their house, I was going to have to take him to the police station. I told him that I did not want to take him to the police because I knew that if he went, they would put him in foster care and once he got into the system it would be difficult to get out. I told him that I did not want that to happen to him. He, my son and myself, got into the van and I drove him to his relatives house. It was after 11 at night. As we drove, I talked to him. I asked him questions. We made small talk. My son just sat there. The child was shaking, still no shoes, his feet were larger than any one of my boys so he could not even borrow any. Once out of the van, I gave him a hug. I prayed over him. He let me pray, he allowed me to hug him. He was taller than me and yet his entire being was gentle. His tone, his spirit was that of a child's. A kind boy. After our prayer, we walked to the door. He rang the doorbell. After what seemed like forever, they opened the door. He spoke to them in their language and I introduced myself. His aunt was understandably confused and irritated with me. This strange woman with pajamas on and a head rag on her head, bringing her nephew to her house at 11 at night. After I told her that he was my sons friend and told her what I knew; I gave her and her husband, his uncle, their nephew. They thanked me and closed the door. My son and I drove home. My son said that he wished there was something he could do. I said I know. We talked about what happened, or rather I talked. He listened. Once home I recounted the details with my sweetheart and then collapsed into a good sleep.
The next evening around 6:30 pm the kids and I were talking in the house and the doorbell rang. Uh oh...This time when my son answered the door, it was the child and his mother. The gentle spirit was in both of them. I opened the door, invited them both in. She spoke in gentle yet strong voice. She thanked the Lord that I took care of her child and she had to meet the woman that did so. She explained what had occurred and it was about his grades. She said she talked loud and she explained to him the importance of getting good grades to be able to propel you into college and into a future that will enable him to make a living and enjoy his life. She is a single mother, raising 5 children. The oldest just graduated from high school and was accepted into several colleges and universities. This child was her second, she had 3 more under him. She expects good things from her children and college was a requirement. We held hands, we hugged, we cried, she prayed and she prayed. She blessed my house. She knelt down and prayed for my children and for me. Her English flowed beautifully in the accent of her people. She was tall and elegant. She was class and she was a woman who loves the Lord and her children. He sat there while we talked and cried. I told her that this is a Christian household and that I could sense that her son was a good boy. A little boy in a big man's body. She smiled. She agreed. I told her that I wish for them what I wish for my family - blessings, safety, and love. I told her that my son made me angry just that morning. I told her that I also raised my voice. I told her that I know what it feels like and I told her that I am so glad that I could be there for him and for her.
We hugged some more. We cried some more. My son and I walked them out of the house. I told her child that he was more than welcome to come over any time. This was a spiritual connection. It was how I feel about children put to the test. I believe it takes a village. My actions backed up my belief. God is in all things. I feel good.