When we think of a memorable holiday, April Fool’s Day rarely comes to mind. Typically we will think of something far more significant perhaps an outstanding Christmas or Thanksgiving memory, or perhaps a wedding or an engagement. I can honestly say I do not ever recall hearing about a memorable April Fool’s Day. So perhaps my story will become one of those parlor stories that get’s told for years to come.
It all started one Saturday afternoon, April 1st to be exact, when my twelve year old son John, asked if he could visit a friend’s house and hang out with several of his friends. My son did ask if it would be okay if the group walked over to a small shopping center nearby. This was one of those milestone requests and a rather a big step in our son’s social life and probably an even bigger step for my husband and I. And while we did give our son permission we did so with much trepidation. So as we dropped our son off, naturally we gave all the necessary parenting speeches every child dreads hearing from “don’t speak to strangers, make good choices, be careful crossing the street” and so on. We did our best to set aside our fears and reassured ourselves that this was part of the maturation process and not only did we have to let go and trust our son, we also had to trust in ourselves as parents.
It was not very long after we arrived back home that the phone rang. The phone call went something like this “Is this Mrs. Andrews”? My response was “yes this is she”. The caller then said “well this is Officer Gardner, and I have your son here” My response of course was “very funny and a Happy April Fool’s Day to you too, please put my son on the phone.” Then next thing I hear, “Mom, please this is not a joke, it is really the police Mom”. I start to get a bit annoyed I raise my voice in frustration and I say “Okay John you made your point ha- ha-ha-ha, April Fool’s” Then I hear, “Mrs Andrews, this is not a joke I am with the Police Department and your son is in trouble”. A mother’s worst nightmare is unfolding before my very eyes, my stomach drops to the floor, I break out in a cold sweat, my heart racing I finally find my voice and I ask “I am so sorry officer, please tell me what my son has done”? “Do I have to come to the police station to pick him up” “No, he has not been arrested and but he is in custody, ma’am, your son is in a lot of trouble”. I try to steady my trembling hands as I mentally prepare myself for the worst. “Your son John here was reported to have thrown a cookie at a moving car”. And now I know without a doubt this is my son’s very twisted idea of a practical joke. As I begin to calm down and I slowly come to the realization that my son is not a felon, all I can think of is how he is going to be so grounded probably until he goes off to college. I cannot believe my child is capable of such a thoughtless prank. I take a deep breathe and am ready to let my temper get the better of me, when the so-called officer says “Ma’am I am escorting your son home and fortunately for your son the couple who reported the incident are not pressing charges”. Without really thinking I walk to my front door and there is a police car and a very tall foreboding looking policeman is walking towards my front door with my very contrite twelve year old (almost felon) son in tow.
This was and will always be a n April fool’s day that will live on infamy at least in our family. My now 17 year old son who is preparing for college (no he is not still grounded) looks back at this escapade with a distinct memory of discomfort but at the same time has put this in the “lesson learned” column. And to the readers, I am certain you will all be glad to know that this was John’s only scrape with the law. John has set himself apart in a myriad of ways that would make any mother proud, ah motherhood it’s all in the way the cookie crumbles (pun intended).