Published Sat, Mar 10 2007 11:36 PM
Technorati Tags: Family
We're all somebody's children. In all the history of the world there are only two people that weren't.
When I was in high school, I did a few pretty stupid things. Living at home, it's pretty hard to hide your foolishness from your parents.
One day, I came home from school to find my bedroom turned upside down. My dad was going to panel my room, or maybe paint it. I don't remember which. Anyway, he started to move my furniture around and discovered where I had hidden a carton of cigarettes I had stolen from him. That and a few other items of contraband.
He turned my bed over. Then he piled all of the contraband on top of it. I was shocked to find my room in that state when I got home.
Somewhat to my surprise, my dad didn't kill me. I know he was pretty angry with me, but when we talked about it he didn't even yell. It was weird.
Thirty years later, and I still remember how weird it was.
My kids are pretty good kids. But I know that they're not perfect either. Yesterday, when I went to use the laptop, I noticed that not all of the programs on it had been closed. One of the programs that was still running was some image editing software.
The image being edited wasn't something I expected to see. No, it wasn't pornographic. Even so, it wasn't something that I think my older son would have wanted me to see.
He and I have had issues in the past. We've had some rather sharp disagreements and all that. Occasionally I get the impression that he forgets that his parents aren't stupid.
Anyway, a few months ago, I thought I noticed some behaviors that I didn't like. Naturally he denied it.
Yesterday, after seeing that image on the laptop I decided I'd browse through the files on the computer. What I found was pretty disappointing. Not only had he lied to me about those unsavory behaviors, but he had made four short videos, and taken a few pictures. The timestamp on the files told me when they had been last modified.
Give me a break. The kid knows that I make my living with these machines. You'd think he'd be smarter than that.
So I changed the desktop wallpaper, and built a playlist of his videos. I put a shortcut to the playlist in the startup folder, and I backed up the files. Then, I shut the machine down. This was sort of my equivalent to turning the bed over.
Today the desktop background is gone, and so are the video files. At least the ones he knew about. He didn't get the backups though. Not the extra copies I left on the laptop, and not the others I put into an encrypted directory on my other machine.
I'd prefer it if after 16 years of living under my roof he'd learn not to lie to me. I'll settle for letting him know that I know the truth.
Someday this summer I'm going to be a grandfather. I hope that the experience teaches my stepson that all along there's been somebody there that cares about what kind of person he becomes.
I thank God that He gave me the parents He did. If I can only be half as good a parent as they were maybe I won't let them - or my children down.
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