For example, a few months ago, my daughter swiped a chocolate bar while I was paying for groceries, and I only found out once we got home and I opened her car door and found myself face to face with a mouthful of melted chocolate. When I asked my friends and family for advice on how to handle this, my sister said, "Turn the thief in! That's what Dad would do." And she was absolutely and most hilariously correct.
When I was quite young, but old enough to ride a bike, one of the things that the kids in our neighbourhood loved to do was to race our bikes downhill on Leopold Street - right in the centre of the street, to be precise. I had been warned and told many times by my father NOT to race my bike down the road. But one day, as many kids do, I chose to ignore my dad's warning and figured that since he was at work all day, there was no way I'd get caught.
So, my friends and I raced our little bikes down that hill with gusto. The thrill of riding so fast with the wind in my hair was too much to resist. I loved it!
And then it happened.
As I was tearing down the hill like a maniac, who should happen to drive around the corner? You guessed it. My dad looked so disappointed. He simply said, "get in the car", and he put my bike in the trunk.
And then he took me to the local police station.
Yes, you read that right. My dad turned me into the cops. I could see my fate flashing like a slideshow in my head as I waited beside my dad for the police officer (I think it may have been the Chief of Police, but I can't be sure) to see us. I would almost certainly be dragging a tin cup along the bars in our little hometown jail for nights on end. I would finally make the front page of our small town newspaper. I could see the headlines now:
"Local Youth Gets Life in Prison - Disobeys
Father for Last Time"
Father for Last Time"
There would be one of those embedded, large font quotes from a shocked neighbour that said:
"She seemed like such a sweet
girl. To think we just bought
Girl Guide cookies from her -
they just taste like cardboard
to me now."
My face was pink from embarrassment and I couldn't bring myself to say anything as we waited. Finally the police officer came and brought us to his office. I was so nervous I thought I might be sick right then and there! Then it happened - he gave me a mint.
A goodwill gesture! Maybe I would get out of here with my freedom after all! As he talked with me about what I'd done and why bike safety was so important, that nauseous feeling slowly melted away. This guy was actually nice! I couldn't believe it. It started to dawn on me that my dad and this police officer might actually care about me, and further to that - they might actually know a thing or two about what they were talking about!
I know... you're all waiting with baited breath to find out if I spent any time in the clink.
Well, I'm happy to say that I walked out of that station about 20 minutes later a free kid. A free kid with a new found respect for her dad and for the law... and I'm pretty sure that I also walked out of there with a brochure on bicycle safety. :-)
That is absolutely one of my most cherished memories from my childhood, and I hope my dad knows it.
So, to come back to Jeannine's idea, starting Monday, I'll be including a regular feature called "Monday Memories". Also, since it was Jeannine's idea, I thought it would only be fair to let her kick off this new initiative as a guest blogger. Be sure to check back on Monday to see what she's got in store!