Daniel's court date was yesterday for the marijuana conspiracy charges. I came so close to not going, because I hadn't heard from him and had decided he really didn't want me there. So when he called Thursday evening, I said, "I've decided not to come." When we got off the phone, I asked myself, How can I not go?? Then I called him back, and asked, "Do you want me there?"
He said, "I want you there. But it may not be worth the trip over here." Over lunch yesterday, I reminded him of what he said. And I told him, "But you are worth the trip."
So we drove to the courthouse and waited. I sat there, being grateful that things always hit me after the fact, so someone at least can appear to be calm while things are happening. It was very stressful for him. A good thing. You can read more about the outcome over at Shhh. I want to say more about the experience of it here.
Once we were seated in the courtroom, it was a lot like last time. The same chatty lawyers up front, greeting each other, gathering clients, peering into laptop screens. Whole benches of African American families waving to defendents "on the other side" who are being held and were paraded out in a group. The anorexic girl. The cocky "snitch." The occasional single who makes eye contact with my son and gives an almost imperceptible nod of acknowledgement in his direction. Daniel's friends. Some of my feelings about that stretch back to his Junior High days. It's that same something bigger than me that I cannot change or control.
The judge tells one of the detainees from another case that he cannot have a furlough tomorrow to attend his grandmother's funeral. He reminds him that he explained the reasons yesterday.
I am impressed with the way the attorneys and the judge speak to defendents with such great respect.
When it's time for Daniel's case, the detainees leave and more arrive. The major player who's been making a lot of money. (I remind myself that he did not get my son in trouble. My son got himself in trouble.) Major player's money laundering mother and her sister are mentioned. The judge calls more names, and I can't keep up with who's who. I stop trying.
I'm describing them this way for a reason. The reason is, it would be so easy to sit there and think, I am not like these people.
Before I go on, I want to include one incident that I didn't mention at Shhh. As things were concluding, one of the lawyers stood and asked the judge if Ms. S. (being detained in another town), would be allowed to write letters to her sister, Ms. L. (being detained in another, different town). Their lawyers would screen the letters, and Mr. US Government would receive copies. Ms, L. is Ms. S's only relative. Ms. S. is unmarried, has no children, and has no other family.
The judge asked Mr. US Government what he thought. (errr, highly unusual, etc. etc. no, I don't think so.) Then the judge repeated the request and said, "I think that would be okay." I breathed a sigh of relief. So did Daniel.
All of this has had me thinking about what kind of Mom I am.
I am not a ferocious Mama Bear Mom. Sometimes I wish I were. Some of my friends are, and I can admire them for that.
I'm also not a Money Laundering Mom. Who can say? I might be were the opportunity to present itself.
I'm more of a Butterfly Mom. Actually, I've thought so for some time. For one thing, butterflies don't actually have babies. I was never very good with that part.
Butterflies are kind of detached. Not that I can claim to never have gotten in their faces. And not that I'm not affectionate or attentive. I think, though, that I know when to let them be and work out their own stuff. Butterflies will hover. But, usually once they've checked out something to their satisfaction, they will move along. And seemingly forget about it. Sometimes they fly around frantically, too. But that never lasts for long.
I wonder what my kids would say about this.
As I was thinking about all this while driving over to the QC yesterday, you'll never guess what they started talking about on NPR. Insect Moms!!! I immediately turned up the volume.
And this is so good. . .Insect Moms prepare the best possible conditions for their eggs. (Monarch Butterfly caterpillars always seek out Milkweed, the one thing required for Monarch larvae survival.) Then they trust that they've done what's needed, let them hatch on their own, and fly. A few of them come back later to check on things, but most of them don't. And they are highly successful parents!!