I am in contact with family members. They are potential witnesses. We agreed to meet at a location that they chose and the time of their choosing. I had reservations about the location, but thought, "What the heck. Just meet get the information you need and keep on going."
I arrived early, so that I could eat a breakfast, say some prayers, get my thoughts in order before the meeting. The attorney arrived shortly after me. We were prepared. The "Auntie" phoned to ask "Have you left yet?" I responded, "Yes ma'am I am already here waiting on ya'll."
Now keep in mind the family was demanding to talk with us. Communication(s) is a big thing with defendants and a lot of time with their families. Ethically, we did the right thing.
After 1.5 hours of them being late and 4 phone calls later they arrived.
I endured 3.5 hours of 7 out of 8 of the rudest, wildest kids in a restaurant this morning - I am grateful I am not a teacher.
Auntie and Mama of client shows up - then cousin with EIGHT kids. Cousin, who is about 35 years old, takes her 3 and goes to the other side of the place - where I later learn she talked some older couple into buying their breakfast - though according - they had already eaten at home.
The other 5 children are left with us 4 adults - every time the waitresses brought food past - the kids would say "I'm hungry".
Well the atty nor I are going to let kids be hungry. So we buy breakfast - later to find they had already eaten as well. One ate like a dog would eat, the other sneezes snot all over the place, and the dog eater knocks off her juice to the floor acting a fool. The others were very well mannered. When the little one gets through with her 3 pancakes - she says "I want more" I said, "No, that's enough."
We furnished pens, paper, and other things to entertain these kids while the cousin/mama is around the corner mooching off of folks. We asked the adult cousin if the kids go to a boys/girls club? She said "no they don't want to go" I said, "who is the parent you or them?"
After a while I had endured all I could. In the mean time - they had ordered MORE sodas and drinks and told the people to put it on my tab. I said "Oh no! You should've asked me first! I am not paying"
I finally gather kids and cousin to go outside for a group picture. Her son, a big hulk of a lad, was ticked because I asked him to stop shouting in a restaurant. He tried to knock my iPad and phone out of my hands. I told him that was rude and uncalled for. I told him, "these things cost money." He responded, "white folks have money so it's no big deal to you." Cousin/Mama asked him "Boy what did you do?" He responded, "She lying on me."
After the photo I told her, "You take 'em to the car and don't bring them back in there." It was mid-70's so not too hot.
About 30 minutes after they went to the car - another waitress came and said, "that lady said to put her banana split on your tab" I said "I AM NOT paying for a grown woman's food - I did not authorize that I am not paying." Cousin heard me and skee-daddled to the car.
I understand poor. Truly I do. But I do not understand, nor accept. rude, ill-mannered and takers.
I know that God puts us in places at times for reasons we do not understand - or in circumstances we do not understand - through all of this - the one lone kid - Lloyd - was a jewel - a real diamond in the rough - who has a God-given talent in art. He would look at a picture and draw it to perfection. Cousin kept saying, "That is a waste of his time all he wants to do is draw."
We encouraged him. On the way home, I stopped to get art supplies to ship to him - ironically - so did the attorney - without either of us knowing what each other was doing. Folks, if we don't teach or encourage our kids in positive ways - whether they are ours by birth or some breeder's kids - we are losing these children to the juvenile system. As nerve wracking and hectic and unsettling as this morning has been, I know why these kids were there - his name was Lloyd. It was our job to encourage Lloyd. To let him know that what he was doing was a good thing. And, that there are people who care.
The look on Lloyd's face when we each said we wanted a picture drawn by him - and we wanted him to sign and date his art work - was priceless. We couldn't have given that child anything greater.
Encourage a child. Train up a child to be kind, honest, productive citizens - instead of takers and haters.
Yes, there are a lot of Lloyd's in the world. I hope our little influence will keep him on the right path.