Alleged shoplifter and mother of Dzokhar Tsarnaev  and Tamerlan Tsarnaev

Zubeidat Tsarnaev, alleged shoplifter and mother of Dzokhar Tsarnaev and Tamerlan Tsarnaev

Pregnant moms, please indulge me as I veer off-topic today in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon.

As I deboarded a plane yesterday, I observed a young woman sporting a bright green baseball cap with the letters, BOSTON emblazoned on the front. Obviously, she was making a statement perhaps as a sigh of relief that the 19-year-old bombing suspect, Dzokhar Tsarnaev was captured and his 26 year-old-brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was dead.

I’m not surprised that the Tsarnaev family ended up in Boston seeking political asylum because the city has a long-standing history of preserving freedom and helping the oppressed. The Revolutionary War and the Underground Railroad are just brief examples of that admirable commitment.

I can’t begin to explain why the Tsarnaev Brothers committed such a vile act but I do want to discuss their mother, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva. Allegedly, she purports that her sons were “set up” and is in denial of their actions. I wish I had a dollar for every parent whom I’ve met that, like an ostrich, stick their heads in the proverbial sand rather than admitting that their beloved children can inevitably “mess up” and in some instances, “mess up” royally.  The fact that we, as parents can raise our children to do the right thing only to find out that they didn’t listen to us is shocking and painful. Oh, don’t I know it.

This past Friday, while I’m hundreds of miles away attending a conference, I received a message from my children’s principal and my heart sank. A phone call from the principal is never a good thing. I discovered that one of my beloved children did something completely out of character that made me tearfully apologize. I could have gone into the denial mode but it would not have helped my son in the long-run. I’ve met mothers who never said “no” to their children, never disciplined them, always covered up for them and those children ultimately grew up to be adult misfits. That is not the future that I want for my sons.

No one ever said that parenting would be easy. We can only lead by good example and hope that our children will have the ability to follow.