Grounded kids live past the grounding

By Vickie Snow

You’re back to school and are so happy to be away from your nagging parents. All they do is tell you when to come home, what to do and what to avoid. They ask you silly questions and try so hard to understand your life – something you want to keep secret.

Parents just don’t understand (as the song goes) and you wish they’d leave you alone sometimes. It’s so awful, right? Think again.

At least your p’s probably don’t slap you if you swear, ground you for months for not doing your homework, tell your boyfriend/girlfriend how lovely you look in the morning (if they haven’t seen you – accidentally, of course)…or beat you to death and put your body in a trunk.

Yes, that’s what happened in 1986 to two babies in Chicago (if you haven’t heard the touching news already). The two-year old boy was beaten to death and his one-year old half-sister was shaken to death.

The father, Andre Jones, said he and his wife Sheila used to beat Luther and Jessica with belts and hair brushes because they were “unruly,” according to news reports. Apparently the parents couldn’t take it anymore.

That’s what Sheila told police about two weeks ago when she informed them of the fact that her babies’ corpses were in her Riverdale home.

How did she handle it for four years in the first place, knowing that her dead babies were in a steamer trunk (sort of like a chest or huge lockbox) and that she and her husband took their lives away? The bodies were wrapped in plastic and newspaper, like a dead dog or cat. At least a pet gets a decent burial.

Mr. and Mrs. Jones kept the locked trunk in the trunk of their car for a year until they moved it like just another piece of furniture from home to home for the past three years.

At the time of the murders, they were 23 and 20 years old. Maybe they were too young to be parents. Maybe they were abused as children. Maybe they expected to have wonderful children who never cried, fought or needed attention. Maybe it was an accident and their ways of “disciplining” got carried away.

Whatever the reason, it’s not good enough and never is. And there probably isn’t even a reason. Oops, it just happened, like so many other tragedies we hear on the news and read in the papers. There’s no excuse for killing two helpless babies. There’s no way these two people should have had children in the first place. But, as Keanu Reeves says in the movie “Parenthood,” you need a license to fish or drive a car, but any idiot can be a parent.

There aren’t any classes that teach you how to be the best parent and handle any situation that comes up in your child’s life. There’s no guarantee that you will be a great parent, but there aren’t guarantees for anything in life except material things like stereos and cars anyway.

News stories like this should make you think – not just about two more crazies out there – but about how lucky you are to have the parents you do. Maybe they aren’t the best. Maybe they have done some terrible things to you in your lifetime. But you are alive…and have your parents to thank for it.