Monthly Archives: December 2009

Wife Turns in Pedophile Husband

I remember when the Unabomber was caught.  There was an uproar of indignation concerning the fact that it was his brother who “ratted” him out.  When his brother saw the published ramblings of the serial murderer known as the “Unabomber,” he recognized the sentiments, mentality, and writing style of his brother, and informed the police.  If memory serves me right, The Los Angeles Times had either an editorial or an op-ed piece castigating the brother for essentially “turning on blood.”

That was a morally repugnant point of view.  Protecting the innocent against evil is the responsibility of every human being, regardless of the “job description” of the evildoer – in this case, a sibling.

Fortunately, in England, a wife of twenty years understood her responsibility to others (in this case, children), and set aside emotional pain and potential embarrassment.  She set out to trap her husband, whom she suspected of being a pedophile.  Apparently, her husband chatted with teenagers as he groomed them for sex.

The wife pretended to be a 14 year old girl, and caught him in the act.  She was in the neighboring living room while he was in his study sweating over a hot computer, setting “her” up for a meeting to have sex.  He also used a webcam to carry out sex acts and send the videos over the Internet.  Our plucky wife watched this in absolute disgust and horror.

She then contacted police who seized his computer.  She didn’t march into his study to confront him, cry, or threaten.  Like a good citizen, she just turned it all over to the authorities.  GOOD FOR HER!

He only received three years of community service and was banned indefinitely from having access in person or online to children under the age of 18.  He also had to register as a sex offender, and, oh yes, she divorced him.

“I did the right thing, and I don’t regret it.  Now I just need some time to think and put this all behind me,” she said to a reporter.

She should have gotten a medal.

Making It Personal for the Holidays

My husband and I were very disappointed when we learned that we could not be with our military son on Thanksgiving.  We casually mentioned to some friends that we were just going to have scrambled eggs and bagels for Thanksgiving dinner, because without him there, it just wasn’t going to be worth the effort.  Well, they kindly invited us to spend Thanksgiving with their family, and we accepted. 

I wanted to do something nice for them to really show them thanks for such a lovely gesture, so I knitted a seven-foot runner for their table.  When it was finished, it seemed so “plain,” that I spent four hours crocheting around the entire runner twice and added a fringe to the ends.  When I gave it to her, she held it close to her chest near her heart, and her eyes teared up as she expressed her emotion for my putting in that amount of effort for her.  I have to tell you that I’ve never felt so moved by a reaction to a gift in my life.

She and her husband were doing something “personal” for me, and I wanted to return the favor.  Having Thanksgiving with their adult children and a couple who were mutual friends made for a fabulous evening, with lots of laughs and a yummy turkey….mmmm.

So, I’ve stopped buying bottles of wine and chocolate-filled baskets.  I’ve been working around the clock for weeks either knitting, weaving, or sewing Christmas presents.  I finished my last project for my “peeps” on Sunday (our office holiday party was on Tuesday), so I had a bit of a crunch for time.  While it was exhausting and sometimes frustrating when equipment has a mind of its own, I feel giddy about giving gifts that are so much of myself.  Clearly, it means more to the receiver AND the giver.

To top it off, a few of my dearest friends sent me “Thanksgiving” e-mails, enumerating the reasons they felt grateful for having me in their lives.  It blew my mind.  It is incredibly touching to know that you matter to someone.

I’m writing these stories to urge you all to do the same this Christmas.  Don’t buy a card – write to that person and let them know why they matter to you and what you appreciate about them and how you feel grateful for them.  Instead of purchasing something generally useless that they might never use and will not cause them to reflect on your relationship, make something or do something.  For example:  plant some flowers on either side of their front door; make a rocking chair for the back porch; fix something on their property; take their kids for the night so they can have a romantic time to themselves….the list of possibilities is endless.

Make it personal, and that doesn’t require ridiculous expenditures for gifts that ultimately don’t matter. 

Oh, and one more thing.  We will see our kidlet for Christmas.  The tree is already up.

A Letter from a Former “Stupid” Parent

Today, I’ve got a guest blog today from Olivia:

Hi, Dr. Laura:

I am a 25 year old married mother of two small boys.  Minutes ago, I just finished
reading your book “Stupid Things Parents Do To Mess Up Their Kids.”  This is why [my reading this] is so timely:

A year ago, some family crisis propelled me into quitting my part-time, yet demanding, job.  In many ways, it was a dream job – part-time, flexible, good pay (or so I thought), and fantastic for my resume.  My family began to deteriorate rather quickly in spite of our kids not being in day care. My job went to my head, and I spent horrible amounts of time on things that had nothing to do with my family, and even harmed my family relationships.  I was being selfish, stupid, and immature as I sought out personal satisfaction and success.

After a major and deserving blow from life, I quit my job, in spite of my board wanting me to stay.  In the last year, I have been focusing on my family more, but have been dabbling in a small business.  Lately, business has been slow, and I have been praying for it to pick up, or to open my eyes to what God would have me do instead.  Stupid, I know, as I have two beautiful sons staring me in the face every day. 

A couple of days ago, when I was in the library with my kids, I had this sudden desire to grab a parenting book (no idea what kind), but in a rush I went to the section, perused quickly and grabbed your book.  You loudly and clearly stating things I knew in my heart, but hadn’t allowed to be voiced in my head.  I really believe this was a divine intervention. 

I know that I am not in the season of life to devote lots of time and energy to anything or anyone other than my family.  You are completely right about everything you said in your book.  Shame on the “so-called” (love how you made fun of that) professionals who tease, shame, and humiliate young, educated women who choose family over career.  And shame on we self-proclaimed “strong” women who allow ourselves to be cowed from taking full-time responsibility for our children, family and home life if we are able. 

I used to feel embarrassed or apologetic when admitting I was a married mother of two at my age.  Now I feel grateful for the path I have chosen, and my joy is full as I recognize the deep personal growth and learning my divinely appointed “job” grants me each and every day as I sacrifice, love, and nurture my family.

Thanks, Dr. Laura.  We need more women to speak out the way you do.