Prison is tough, for inmates at least. My husband and I are rather enjoying our term as wardens. We’ve grounded our teenage son, see, and he’s struggling to adjust to a life behind bars. Attica!
Make no mistake, Inmate 7 (as we’ve come to call him) is guilty. We warned him at the beginning of the school year about keeping up his grades, and thanks to the Internet, we can view them whenever we want. I couldn’t sleep the other night so I did a cursory background check on the suspect. Turns out our little juvie hasn’t exactly been toeing the academic line. The next morning, Doo and I subpoenaed the accused and heard his side. Then we read him his heavily-amended Miranda rights and promptly threw him in the can. No trial, no jury, no phone call. (Chez Wilson is more like North Korea when it comes to civil liberties.)
His first day of incarceration wasn’t too bad. He got work-release for school, and the football game he could no longer attend was cancelled anyway due to inclement weather. But then the weekend arrived, and his confinement took on a whole new meaning. Fresh fish! Fresh fish! The complaining, whining, and general depression soon morphed into desperate requests for shock probation. Denied. Twice. He did the crime, he’s doing the time.
Then it got really interesting. Apparently word of his confinement spread quickly among his peeps, and we soon saw various attempts to jailbreak him. While he was mowing the back lawn, for example, two would-be accomplices tried to jump our storm-swollen creek and pass him food (and shivs?). Another “friend” boldly rang our doorbell with a mediocre cover story of having left his bike here and needing our perp to ride it back for him. Lame. How naïve do they think we are?
And it’s not like he’s in solitary. We let him keep his cell phone, for Pete’s sake, which basically keeps him in touch with his entire posse. But he’d argue abuse is rampant. Physical labor, lack of junk food, and restrictions on electronics make him think he’s being water-boarded or something. Like Geneva even applies here. (North Korea, remember?) Sorry, Inmate 7. You’ll get your three hots and a cot and you’ll like it. Or not.
We don’t really care. In fact, it’s almost entertaining to watch him grapple with the knowledge that he did this to himself. Hopefully, he’ll learn from his experience and make smarter choices next time. If not, we have no problem Shawshank-ing his behind again. Some kids just take longer to figure out how to make parole.
Yes, prison is tough. But so is parenting. Deal with it. Peace out.