Still a good boy

5 Apr

This is a picture of my little boy, my first born, one of the two reasons for my existence.  I remember when he was born and I thought he was it.  He was perfect in every way and wouldn’t ever do anything wrong.

Then again, he is human.

And so am I.

Evan is a really techy kid.  It’s one of the things that I love about him.  It’s also one of the things that cause me anxiety.  So since he’s gotten an e-mail account several years ago, I keep up on it.  I look and see what he e-mails and who.  Usually it’s pretty harness stuff; e-mails from a guitar chord service he belongs too, notices from Facebook, things like that.  I saw that on occasion he e-mails his soccer coach, even a teacher on occasion,  sometimes invites buddies over, you know, regular 10 year old kid stuff.

Then, yesterday, I was having a peek, the first time since before February, and I saw that he e-mailed two obscure e-mail addresses that I didn’t recognize.  Intrigued, I opened it.

To my utter shock and dismay, I found a photo of a bikini clad girl sent to his two friends.  It was clear.  There was no mistaking it.

TO: them.

FROM: Evan.

Me: furious.

Listen, I know, these things are going to happen.  I know that with technology comes things like this.  I know that we should harbor some of the blame.  I’m not altruistic, but here’s the thing: I envisioned these boys mothers opening up this e-mail and getting the false impression that Evan is this hormone crazed slug!  I was mortified!

I sent him a text. It went like this:

“I need you to explain to me why you send an inappropriate picture of a girl to your friends.  Make it good Evan. Every form of technology you currently enjoy is on the line.”

When he didn’t respond I sent this:

“I’m waiting”

His response to me:

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

My response to him:

“That’s the thing about E-mail Evan, it’s there…in black and white.  It doesn’t lie.  I’ll show you when we get home.  Until then , enjoy the computer while you’re able to use it.  Oh, and that phone is gone.”

On the drive home I was planning his punishment, but in the back of my mind all I could think about was the reaction from the parents of the boys who received the e-mail.  I felt sick to my stomach.  I decided that part of his punishment was to call their parents and apologize.

I got home and was relatively calm which was exactly the opposite of how I was feeling.  Instead, I calmly opened the e-mails and showed him, watching closely for the expression on his face.  He genuinely looked shocked and then a light bulb  went off.

“Mom, we watched a movie together and that girl was in it, so we used my phone and googled her and they sent the image to their own e-mails. This picture of her on the beach was in the movie.  It wasn’t a bad movie, mom.”

Likely story.

“Evan, try again.”

“Mom. Do you honestly think that I would remember those weird e-mail addresses?  I’ve never e-mailed them before, you can see that in my history . Plus, if you look at the date it was sent, I was with them at the time it was sent.”

A quick check on the calendar suggested he was right.

We all learned something from this: He learned that I will be fierce when it comes to inappropriate use of a privilege like technology.  He learned that whatever gets sent from his e-mail can get traced back to him.  And I told him that the parents still might think it came from him.  He said, “no mom, no one else’s mom checks their e-mails.  You’re so strick.!”

Oh how I detest those three words.

And I learned that even when you believe with every morsel of your being that you are right, you might actually be wrong.

And then, I added that to my book.

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One Response to “Still a good boy”

  1. joemocha April 7, 2012 at 11:44 pm #

    Tina,
    How you handled that was spot on….my daughter, 11…is now Skyping her friends and now a boy in her class….I read all posts daily…..and the first time I see something inappropriate…is gone!
    I shudder when she gets to be 14-15……….yikes.

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