Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The trespassing incident....

"Mommy, weren't you afraid you might go to jail for trespassing?" Bella inquired last night as I drove her to dance class.

Obviously, the topic continued to weigh heavily on her mind because the trespassing incident had happened about a week earlier.

She, Landon and I had just returned home after a long bike ride around our neighborhood.  Landon had been complaining about how tired he was yet Bella and I still had plenty of energy to burn.

"Hey Bella," I called out to her as she begrudgingly walked her bike up to the garage. "Wanna go back out again?  Maybe take a different route than our usual one?"

Her face lit up with excitement and wonder.  "Yes!  Where are we gonna go?"

"Let's see if we can get up on the levy," I suggested.

With a look of confusion, she asked, "You mean the one behind our house?  Are we allowed up there?"

I shrugged my shoulders, "I've seen tons of people up there riding their bikes, walking their must be okay if they're doing it, right?"

And with that, we were off again...pedaling as fast as we could on the route that would take us to the entrance of the levy.

During those few minutes, we were both fired up about peering into everyone's backyards...what would we see?  Did our neighbors have glamorous pools with cascading waterfalls, luscious vegetable gardens or maybe even sprawling landscapes covered in greenery?   We had to find out...our curiosity urged us on.

When we finally made it to the entrance of the levy, we encountered a huge barricade of gates with a large sign that read "Do Not Trespass".  To say we were seriously disappointed is understating it.

"Oh man, what a bummer!  Well, how do all those other people get up here then?" I wondered aloud.

Bella seemed lost in thought for a few moments and then answered, "There's probably another entrance somewhere, maybe at the other end."

"I don't know where the other end is, though.  It's probably miles away.  Let's just see if we can get our bikes through the gate," I suggested, hoisting my bike in the air.

Her eyes wide with fear, Bella shook her head.  "But, Mommy, the sign says not to trespass."

I chuckled to myself at her seriousness.  "Bella, I see people up here ALL. THE. TIME.  I'm sure it's okay, especially if we're just using the levy as a means of transportation.  We're not harming anyone or anything by being up here."

"Besides, this isn't private property, it's city property.  And we, my little friend, live in this city so WE should be allowed up here," I added.

Her hesitancy seemed to wane and she begin to walk her bike over to the gate which I had already bypassed.

"Come on, let me help you get your bike over the gate.  This is gonna be so much fun!"

As I lowered her bike on the other side of the gate, Bella asked, "What could happen to us if we get caught?  Isn't trespassing against the law?  I don't want to go to jail."

"Okay, first of all," I began.  "We are not going to jail for being up here on the levy.  Secondly, yes, trespassing is against the law but somehow I don't get the feeling that this is something the police would take THAT seriously. many times do we see people walking behind our house up here?"

She challenged, "Well, they're breaking the law, too.  And we could too go to jail because it's against the law, Mommy.  Did you used to trespass when you were my age?"

Shit.  How was I supposed to answer that question?  Tell her the truth and let her think her mother was a complete asshole as a young rebel child or tell her a little innocent white lie for the sake of what should have been a fun bike ride...

Turning my bike around, I said, "Okay, well...obviously, this really bothers you so let's turn around and we'll find another new route to take.  One that doesn't involve trespassing."

Bella seemed happy with my decision.  "Just because everyone else is doing it doesn't mean we should, you know.  Even if we don't get caught."

I couldn't help but smile at her wisdom and maturity.  "You are right, Bella," I remarked.  "You always do the right thing and, for that, I'm very proud of you."

We ended up taking our usual route, nonetheless, and as we rode around our neighborhood, I became overwhelmed with a sense of guilt.  Here I was...a mother who should abide the law no matter how silly it may seem, a mother who should be encouraging her kids to follow the rules, not break them.

I halfway expected God to strike me down with lightening at that very moment.

Upon our return home, I told Tim how the levy entrance had been blocked and that Bella felt very strongly about not trespassing.  He began to say, "But I see people up there all the time...." and I held up my hand, silently suggesting that he discontinue before Bella lectured him as she did me.

Fast forward to the other night, while she and I were in the car on our way to dance class, and the topic of trespassing came up again.

"You never did tell me if you used to trespass when you were my age," she demanded.

With a sigh, I answered, "If you must know, yes I did.  I did lots of stupid things when I was younger."

"Did your mother know that you trespassed?"

"Uh, no, I don't think so.  It's not like I was breaking into people's houses or anything, Bella.  My friends and I would sometimes walk on people's property as a shortcut to know, that kind of stuff," I explained.

"Well, she'd probably be mad if she knew.  But she didn't and now you know that trespassing is against the law.  Let's never discuss this again, okay."

I glanced at her in the rear-view mirror and thought, "Who's the mother and who's the child here?"

"You got it, baby girl.  No more breaking the law for me," I said.

She smiled back at me in triumph.

Oh, and in case you're wondering, lightening hasn't me struck me....yet.  So long as I continue to walk the straight and me, my daughter will see to that. Registered & Protected


Brad Jenkins said...

So this may not be of much help now, but you can use it the next time you find your daughter correcting your actions.

You should have told her you were just testing her.


Brad Jenkins said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jen said...

Its funny to me how kids take things so literal. I forget that fact all the time.

SherilinR said...

i frequently get reprimanded by my 9 yr old for doing things that aren't on the straight & narrow. makes me hope she's always such a rule follower.

Eva Gallant said...

Lucky you have Bella to keep you in line!

Eva Gallant said...

Lucky you have Bella to keep you in line!

wonderchris said...

Love this story - she is too cute.

melissa78 said...

So cute,Go Bella!!!

Rhiannon said...

ur so busted! you got schooled by your daughter! HAHAHAHA
thats a funny story, but also proof you raised your children right

Nezzy said...

I often joke about the sun~light God gonna blow overhead in my roof 'round the Ponderosa.

I love Bella and her tenacity!!! She's a doll, that one.

God bless and enjoy your day sweetie!!! :o)

Anonymous said...

How sweet! That kid is going to be a preacher when she grows up. LOL

Jenny said...

That is great that she's so honest. I hope she stays that way and can tell her friends to stay on the straight and narrow too!

Sela Toki said...

Can't help but laugh at this. So true, our children can teach us a lot about life. If we let them. Definitely not a one way street. Bella is totally awesome. Thanks for sharing.

Samantha said...

That's so funny...Bree corrects us with our language sometimes. If we say asshole, she says, "Don't say that word! Say butthole instead." it. Your daughter is very wise though :)

HoneyDame said...

I love your realness. I love how you can talk about these things without fear of judgement. I love how you don't give the airs of the perfect are doing a deng good job at being a mother and I am glad that you have upright kids to show for it.
More grease to your elbow...or perhaps more wine for those days!

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

Taking the moral high ground! Alright! Well, I do think you need to figure out where the real entrance is :-)

Kmama said...

Aww! Sounds like Bella has a good head on her shoulders!

Barbara said...

It's a good thing Bella is around to make sure you aren't breaking any laws! ;)

Missy said...

Great story. What a great girl you have. I love her and I've never even met her. My "thing" I need to stop? Texting, checking emails at red lights!

Anonymous said...

Is she your first born? 'Cause first borns are Old Testament kind of people. She is blessed to have a grace mama. My first born would have law-abiding converstions with me and I was LOVED the comfort of rules. My second son is a grace child who believes rules are made to be broken. Even at 4 or 5, this conversation would have been the green light to greater mayhem - it's amazing how multiple children (and I mean lots, whether twins or one at a time) - develops superb communication skills that fit diverse audiences! LOL - I loved your story - and so made me remember sweet memories!

BTW - I have some encouragement I want to share with you at my place. A friend sent me a gift, and I wanted to share it with both old and new friends - so come on by for a spell:)

Shelly - Tropical Mum said...

Good for you, Bella! I was worried you were going to get caught also. Glad you decided to turn around. I couldn't stand the suspense!

I need to live life on the edge a little more, obviously. said...

--Such a super post!

My son asked me not long ago: "Mom, did you ever smoke pot?"

I hesitated.

Then I said "Yes."

"Really?" he said.

"Yes," I retorted. "But I never inhaled."

xxx love your blog.

irishtwinsmommababybook said...

Just shows what a great mama you are and what a great job you are doing for her to have responses to you like that-- and to actually say it.

And hey-- she can find out all about your past once she gets married and pushes out a baby! ;) That was my moms' unspoken rule. haha

Emmy said...

Love it! She is in the black and white/right ad wrong stage. But yep, you did good listening to her feelings and doing hat was right.

Shell said...

She is a total riot!

Twins Squared said...

That's funny! But seriously good for Bella! Not that it would have been a big deal but that's a sign that she's a rule-follower. And I think you DO want to encourage that because when she gets older the stakes get so much higher. I don't blame her - I'm always such a rule follower. Even as an adult I would be thinking that while obviously you wouldn't be taken to jail I still wouldn't want to get caught and have a cop say ANYTHING to me. Stuff like that makes me paranoid! I can't even be the tooth fairy because I'm terrified of getting caught! You have a great girl on your hands!

Karen Peterson said...

Oh, that law-abiding kid of yours!

Was there an actual sign against trespassing? Because, if not, they're probably just trying to keep cars out...

KSK said...

Dang kids and their righteous ways... always spoiling the fun! ;)

Julia Hunter said...

OMG so cute the way your daughter is a rule abider. I was the same way as a kid, I would have freaked if my mom tried to go past the trespassing sign.

Julie said...

This is an awesome story! I have to tell you, we live along Sacramento River and we have an area where you can walk freely and then the dreaded gate with the signs. But, like you, we see people up there all the time so we (my daughter and I, she was probably about 10 at the time) went ahead and ignored the signs. About a mile from our house we were practically accosted by one of the home owners who told me that this was private property and did I want my daughter to think that breaking the law was acceptable?? So, I think you made the right decision because Bella would not have handled that so well. LOL In fact, I'm still a bit terrified of that man and it's been 5 years!! I did come back with "I thought that, because this land was publicly maintained that it would be fine if we walked up here" He assured me that was not the case. He was so mean!!

I figure that if the children are alive when my husband gets home at the end of the day, I've done my job.

----Roseanne Barr

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