by Jeanne Sager
It's the last thing you want to see when you turn on your television at night: your kid on the news in one of those "can you identify this man" surveillance videos. It's what one mom from Kansas City saw last week. So she called the cops and turned her own son in, identifying him as one of a group of teens who robbed an 85-year-old veteran at his own home.
Bravo, Mom. We need more people like you in this world; more parents like you.
I'm sure it wasn't easy for Michael Bray's mom.
The "turning in your own kid" part had to be hard.
But that's not what I mean.
She saw her baby boy allegedly pull a gun on an 85-year-old man, a veteran of our military, while his buddies ran into the man's house and ransacked the place. In the end, cops say the group of nine teens and young men stole a rifle, handgun, thousands of rounds of ammunition, and a smartphone. This was just days after the veteran was badly beaten in another robbery.
Yes, the same man.
According to court records, the poor guy didn't resist the second robbery because of the first beating.
And a mother had to watch her son with his hand on the gun, watch her son terrorizing an innocent man.
After that, turning him in to the police is a cake walk. As hard as it might be to think of our kids with a pair of metal bracelets wrapped 'round their wrists and a raft of charges, it's harder still to think that they might deserve to be there.
The shame you feel.
With an 8-year-old, I've never been in Mrs. Bray's shoes, and I hope never to be there. But I know the feeling of humiliation that washes over you when your kid misbehaves, especially when they do so in front of others. You feel that all your hard work was for naught. True, they made the choice to do something wrong, but you raised them, you taught them to be better than that, and you feel in that moment that your teachings did not work.
But Michael Bray's mom did at least one thing right here. She didn't ignore that news footage. She didn't let her son get away with his alleged crimes.
Hard? Of course. But that's part of being a parent -- not just teaching our kids not to do wrong but making them face the consequences if and when they do.
Michael Bray allegedly confessed to the crime, and he's facing first-degree robbery, first-degree burglary, and two counts of armed criminal action. Hopefully the parents of the co-conspirators in this case step up and do the right thing for this poor veteran and, quite frankly, for their kids. If they ever want them to have a chance at being solid citizens down the road, they need to get them off the path they're on at the moment.
What would be harder? Facing that your child did this or turning them in?