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Mama’s Soap Box: Buh-Bye, Buh-Bye, Hello!

April 17, 2015
Hi everyone!  This is MAMAVIA!  I’m filling in for Kelly tonight!  I hope you enjoy!


Son stopped by on Monday, just a few minutes before the mother of 458434 began to speak at her daughter’s sentencing. Very close to the beginning of her little speach she said that 458434 was her “firstborn, and didn’t come with instructions”. Hmm…that’s not much of an excuse…it’s not like a baby is an “open box” item that you pick up at Best Buy and you saved a few bucks because no instructions were included!  Every child living was born “without instructions”…and every parent has to learn to deal with it!


Anyway, I huffed, and puffed, and said “oh, Right!” as well as a few other unprintable expletives during her little speech (written by her Number 1 Daughter, I’m sure!) I was so close to seething!  My Son has a level head, is thoughtful and considerate, and I often depend on his sage advice…so, when he said “Mom, YOU would have done the same things!” it knocked my sensitivity for a moment, and, as usual, it took me a few minutes to think logically about the circumstances.  Now, admittedly, I’m close to 1000 miles away from Arizona, but I’m a good mom  (TONS better than SOME!) because I try to LISTEN to my “child” (who is now a manly Man). So, I stopped and thought about what 458434’s mother SAID, what her WORDS really meant.

“She didn’t come with instructions”…sometimes life is like that…you CAR comes with instructions, but you never read them…your cell phone has instructions, but you never look them up! I even remember that COMPUTERS USED to come with instructions…sometimes big 3-ring binders…and they didn’t get used either!  Maybe we just aren’t an “instruction reading society”!  

But, in thinking about those 5 words, I think that she’s implying some kind of manufacturer malfeasance!  No instructions were included!  Would she have done better with instructions? Or would they have been thrown out with the trash, or put up on the bookshelf and ignored!  Please, don’t tell other defendants that “they didn’t come with instructions” is an acceptable defense for whatever crime they have committed!

It’s not hard to make the connection that 458434 cannot take responsibility for her actions because her mother never taught her to do so!  Her mother is incapable of accepting responsibility too!  And, bottom line, “she didn’t come with instructions” is only an excuse for not taking responsibility!  (Did her OTHER children have instructions?  Why aren’t THEY murderers?) I KNOW that I grew up during the age od dinosaurs…but…I can remember my Dad making me go get a switch (and it had better be a GOOD one!) with which he utilized on the backs of my legs all the way to the little corner store (where I had filched a penny bubble gum) then, stood there as I apologized for my sin…then he paid the penny…and switched my legs all the way back home! (And I learned never to take something from anyone else without asking for it or PAYING a for it!).  Yes, I was first-born…I’m POSITIVE that I didn’t come with instructions, either…but that didn’t keep him from knowing “what to do” about a bubble-gum thief! 

Anyway…my first born Son (also no instructions included) said “Mom, you KNOW that if that was ME, you would have done the same thing!”, he meant that I would have moved the Rocky Mountains to help him!  He is right, I would have!  But there are other things I would have done (and not done) to help my child!  Wild horses couldn’t have kept me from testifying on his behalf!  It’s bothered me that she would not take the stand to defend her child…but….I think I know exactly WHY she didn’t!  

Remember that letter (supposedly) written by Travis admitting his “Pedo needs”?  Sandy Arias offered to sell that letter to the National Enquirer.  For whatever reason, the Inquirer did not buy the letter! (Maybe they should have asked the examiner!). There is NO DOUBT in my mind…that IF Sandy Arias had taken the stand, there would have been some very hard questions put forth by Juan Martinez that she would have HAD to answer about that letter…and many other things!

I cannot say, that if I were put into the same situation, that I would have refused to attempt something like that IF I believed it was REAL….but I KNOW I would have said “NO WAY!” If I suspected it was a forgery!  I thought that it was TRUE…and it would HELP my child…I just might have tried…I will confess… I’m a “mama bear” when it comes to my Son and the children & grandchildren  I’ve “adopted”…I will admit that!  When a wrong has been committed against a loved one, I get my “fur all petted backward”, and I am not an easy person to deal with.  But, on the other hand…

About 20 years ago, Son called me and said “Mom, I need help BAD!”  He was in the Navy, and had committed an insignificant infraction of the rules, but it WAS an infraction!  Son believed he “needed a lawyer to fight it”….I asked “did you commit this error?” “Well, yes…” He answered.

“Son, there are times in life where it is best to just say: “You are right, I messed up, I understand why my error was important, and It will not happen again!”  Rather than argue what is obviously your fault, rather than make excuses, taking responsibility is just the “right thing to do”.

It took him a few days to think about it….and when his Captain talked to him, Son took responsibility.  So, it turned out that the discipline he ended up receiving was much, much lighter than he expected!

Several years later, my son said to me “You know, Mom…that little bit of “trouble” really taught me a lot! And, it really changed my life for the better!”  I was glad to hear that, happy to know that he saw that moment in life as being a “learning moment”!

As parents, our job is to mold our children into responsible adults.  You don’t need an instructional manual to do that, and it isn’t all that difficult!  You teach by example, you teach using “learning moments”, you hop up onto the Mom Soap Box and give a lecture.  As a parent, you give them unconditional love and loving discipline.  You take responsibility for the child you brought into the world, not celebrate when they finally quit high school and run off to go live in a tent with some boy…thankful that the “problem child” is no longer YOUR problem!

Disciplining a child begins the moment that they understand “don’t touch that “pretty” on the table”! Later, they touch it just to test to see if you really mean what you said!  You can’t “let them get away with murder” for 15 years, then decide you are going to teach them not to lie or grow pot on the roof! (You are 14 years too late!)

I think we can all agree that getting a few whacks with a wooden spoon IS NOT ABUSE!  To 458434 (now State Number 281129) any time she didn’t get exactly what she wanted, she claims she was “abused”!  

And, while we are all agreeing…the ONLY person who believes that TRAVIS was still attacking…after being shot in the head, suffering close to 30 stab wounds….the ONLY person who believed he needed to have his throat slit…is the murderer who is at Goodyear…

Yes, I know that her mother didn’t hold the knife/knives or gun…..but she never taught her daughter to walk away, either…never taught her self-respect…that doesn’t need an “instruction book”…it’s common sense. In my mind, her mother has responsiblity for what 281129 became, beyond that, she has responsibility for condoning her daughter’s actions! I know I would have done something MUCH different!

Where does our responsibility for our children end?  Certainly not “magically” when they walk out the door of the family home at 16!!  Perhaps I’m a “soft-touch” or something, I don’t know…when the Gulf Oil Spill happened a few years ago, my son’s paycheck was affected because his store was dependent on tourism!  I helped him financially for a few months…I felt it was “my responsibility”.  When his wife and baby died, I helped him in any way I could.  That is just what “family” does for one another!  

I should mention that I am not the only one “giving” in the relationship with my son…there have been countless times that all I had to do was call him if I needed his help.  He has taken me to doctor appointments, brought medication or groceries if I was sick, fixed any number of broken things, installed garbage disposals, put together Papa’s gas grill, etc, etc.  Son is a thoughtful and giving man, and I’m proud of him!

I think that the key to raising good, responsible children is to give them tons of unconditional love, teach them responsibility, give them morals, values and a sense of self-esteem.  And keep your fingers crossed!

I think where 281129’s mother failed is that she never taught her daughter to tell the truth and that there are consequences for your actions!  The deepest insight into her character that we have is the gmail exchange between her and Travis.  He keeps saying “Just tell the truth!” During her interview with Detective Flores, she stated that 281129 was “hiding” her activities. The two of them never built any mutual trust, and, it appears, 281129 never got through the normal teen-age phase of “parental distrust”.  They never formed any true affection for one another.  Whether 281129 was born with her personality disorder, or whether the disorder was due to the nurturing she did/did not receive is anyone’s guess.  OBVIOUSLY, ANYthing that 281129 SAYS cannot be taken as truthful, one would have to know all of her motivations that cause her to lie at any given time, and that just isn’t possible. Does she lie not to get into trouble? Lie to manipulate? Or lie just to see if she can get away with it?

She deserves to be where she is!  She will make her choices every day, just like you and I do.  But, in a way…I feel sorry for her…she will turn 40 behind bars, and 50…she will suffer menopause in that already unbearable heat…and, if she wins the lotto like I did…those 10-12 years will be the most miserable existence she’s ever known…her father will die…and she won’t be able to go to the funeral….the same with her mother…no weddings, baptisms, graduations…her contact with those she says she lives will be limited to a few hours visit.  She will never again feel the silky sheets in a 5-star hotel, sit in a hot tub and have a glass of wine, never again fall asleep in the arms of a man who truly loves her, show off the diamond that her fiancé gave her, never enjoy the aroma of a new car, or a new leather purse…

Monday evening, as I was laying on my comfy sofa…I began thinking of what she might be experiencing….her day had been full…I truly believe that she expected JSS to give her 25 to Life…she was hurt and angry…and she felt that she has been abused by the system…she was pushed around, ordered this way and that, probed and questioned and generally “treated like an inmate”…I imagined her, sitting on that plastic covered mattress, cursing the “sea of blue” in the courtroom…and wishing that her cell was any other color than “Remember Travis Blue”….she has a very long time to sit and think in that blue cell…..and, in a way…I hope that her mother is thinking what she could have done differently…..


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