I woke up this morning to discover a crime outside my front window. My neighbors, who are delightful people, were victimized during the night. Their front porch, steps, bushes and front tree had all been toilet papered.
I stood there for a moment and thought “Is that still a thing? Does this still happen?” It seemed so weird to look at. I don’t think I had seen this type of vandalism in years.
But it was there none the less. I then thought this may not be an attack on my neighbors, but perhaps an attack on their son who is in high school.
I don’t really know their son, I mean, he is in high school and I am old with a kid, so by each of our standards the other is completely lame. But I can’t imagine anyone deserves to have a bunch of crap thrown all over their house.
Then I thought of my son, who turns 2 this week. In just a few years he will start to understand and play jokes. In a few more he will have friends who will egg him on, and in a few more he will get caught up in some group mentality and do something stupid. ‘
He is a boy, he is my son, and he will be a teenager. Despite my best attempts to parent he will undoubtedly do some pretty stupid shit.
But hopefully he wont be cruel.
I hope to instill in him that for the most part, pranks are mean and hurtful so even if when it seems awesome, he will have to live with the decision he makes.
Perhaps he will ask himself a few questions before partaking in some silly activities. Is this funny now? Will it still be funny tomorrow? Will it be funny in a week? How about in 5 years? If the answer is yes then by all means, please son, play your prank and have some fun. But if the answer is no, think about it. Because the last thing anyone really wants around is a hurtful jerk, there are plenty out there. I want my son to stand out, not blend in.
I hope he grows up and is fun, interesting and respectful. I hope he knows the difference between having fun and being mean-spirited.
I also hope my house isn’t next on the list.