I thought about putting this in random acts, but it was neither graceful nor kind...it just brightened up my little corner of the world considerably.
This happened earlier this week at work. If you've had the questionable thrill of reading some of my whining posts, you know I'm a children's/YA librarian at a very small, inner city library branch. Our kids rarely use the computers for anything but posting to MySpace, looking up trash and playing music videos way too loud.
One of these little darlings is K. He is about fourteen years old, and while he has attitude, he is usually, cautiously, polite to me, even when he makes no pretense about coming to Book Club to steal cookies and chips.
K was in early on Tuesday and we asked him if he was sick. No, he wasn't sick. He's just not in the mood. He signed up for a computer and we had no choice but to allow him to do whatever he feels like, which was getting on line and going to his mySpace account.
He hadn't been there long when a small woman burst through the doors, marched over to him and screamed "THERE you are! Skipping school? I been all over the school and that library looking for you. An' here you are! What you think you trying to pull?"
K muttered something unintelligible. Mom looked over at us--she had our undivided attention--and said "Im sorry but I have to take care of this." We suggested she go for it.
She went for it all right: K was looking at his My Space account and that was one of the things she had been called to the school to discuss. It was apparently filthy and he had been picking on classmates using it. Mom stood over him while he closed out his myspace conversion, undid his account, wiped out all traces of his webpage and so on. The she got him by the scruff of the neck and frog marched him out. "We're going to the principal to discuss appropriate punishment!" she told him. She was only half the boy's size, but she had him up on tippy toes. Never hit him. Never once. And, oh, he had apparently called himself into school sick which was a big surprise for her when she got to the school to view his myspace account.
My colleagues and I (about whom I have complained) were united in what some might perceive as misplaced admiration. "Well," said Boss "that explains why the boy is as polite as he is. Too bad more of the mothers don't keep watch on their kids like her."