On Friday, I got a call from Mrs. Betty (no, not that Mrs. Betty, another one). It appeared that she had gone to her “Grandson’s” school on a whim and noticed a mark on his face. Grandson is 7, he said his Mama’s boyfriend hit him. So, Mrs. Betty was understandably pissed and somehow or another, she got my number.
Now, Mrs. Betty wanted something done about this immediately — if not sooner. She saw this mark on Thursday and she had called everybody she could think of to get this child away from this man. Seems I was her last resort, and she couldn’t bear to spend the weekend worrying about the little boy. She wanted this done TODAY.
Well, it’s Friday, Mrs. Betty, and my son is out of school and I was planning on staying home and I really just wanted to wear jeans today!!! But. Meet me at juvenile court at 1:00. “Okay”, she said, “how much is this going to cost ’cause I have to round you up some money before 1:00.” In an emergency like this? We’re not going to be in the hundreds. “Okay. I have to put in some calls but I’ll meet you at 1:00 with everything I can get.” *sigh* Okay.
Aidan and I get dressed, I do the proper paperwork, we show up at juvenile court as scheduled. I know I’m not going to get paid, but whatevs. I can’t let a little kid spend a weekend with a dood that just punched him in the face. I just can’t. Plus, Mrs. Betty was crying. Sobbing, in fact. So I had to go. Y’all know old people can’t cry and I leave ‘em be.
At juvenile court, I hit the ground running. I get the whole entire story, which enrages me, file the proper paperwork, make my emergency case to the judge. And by now it’s 3:00. But we have an order to take the kid, who is getting out of school NOW. So now the police have to get involved and a scene is ultimately going to be caused and scare the kid half to death. So, Mrs. Betty, you leave now and go get him. I’ll take care of the rest and you call me later.
“But, I need to pay you!” No, Mrs. Betty, you need to go to the school. But she grabs my hand and presses $200 into my palm so nobody can see it like old people do when they give you money. And Aidan and I are off to manage schools and police and process servers.
Then she calls me on Saturday morning. “I have another $100. Do you want it today?” No, ma’am, enjoy your Saturday.
Then she calls me Monday. “I’m coming to your office to bring you that money.” So, she comes. She tells me all about the weekend and about how her son died in a robbery and this child wasn’t her biological grandchild, but her son loved him so and she has to take care of him. She promised. So she called all of her son’s friends and they’re each going to call me and talk about the money.
And since then? I’ve been getting calls from all over the country. Where can I send $20? How can I pay $100? What’s your address so I can make a payment? Can I bring it to you?
Wow. And you know what? I appreciate them trying to pay, but I’m more overwhelmed that this lady and her community are trying to protect this child and they’ll do what they gotta do. Sometimes, when you do this, it can’t be about the money. This one wasn’t really even about that for me. I was mad cause a grown azz man punched a kid in his face, and I was fully prepared to go the distance with $200 in my pocket. But, just like Mrs. Betty is taking care of that kid, she is making sure that she takes care of me, too.
I like her.