There was a flurry of activity across the street over the weekend. You might remember me talking about the situation back in July. It was obvious that they were struggling, but it was hard to figure the situation out. There was a man who came with a loud truck. There was a woman who once sat in front of the place blowing the horn for like a half hour before someone got pissed and walked out and told her to knock it off. (Not from my house). Her excuse was that her boyfriend worked nights and was sleeping in the apartment. There was a skinny woman (a different one) who seemed to be living there with the three kids. Although there was often a vehicle there, the woman also did her grocery shopping, pushing the cart five blocks home, and then wheeling it across the street to dump it in our yard when she was done.
Just chaos, really. It seemed like chaos.
William out grew his bike. It was a nice bike, but we found a very nice bike second hand, and got it for him. Tim and I discussed it and the next time that I saw the oldest boy, I walked across the street. "Hey, I said, "my grandson has a bike that he's out grown and if you'd like it..."
His eyes got wide. "I want it!"
I said, "Well, run upstairs and ask your mom..."
"I want that bike." He was so eager for it, I wasn't going to say another word. "Come on over and get it then," and headed across the street. He ran after me after cautioning the two younger boys not to leave the sidewalk. They stood there obediently. When I wheeled the bike out, he was thrilled, but as befitting a near teenager, he played it cool. He jumped on it, and rode off down the driveway. There were many summer nights that I saw him out biking with a group of boys. It always made me smile. It also always made me smile that he recognized our car and gave me a solemn 'cool guy' wave whenever he saw it. When I walk over to meet William after school, I always see him and he says, "Whaddup?" Very cool, you know. Very cool.
And now there was a flurry of activity across the street, furniture hauled down the steps, and loaded on a truck, and gone. just gone.
It is the week before Thanksgiving, and I think about those kids. I wonder where they are. I hope they have a good holiday. I'm glad that the bike went with them.
And remember the yellow wagon? Tim saw her walking with her little boy. It was cold, in the teens. He stopped the car and offered them a ride, even though he had no car seat.
They climbed in. They were headed to the Family Dollar. She was going to buy a treat for the little boy while they waited for a bus to take them to the Walmart to do some Christmas shopping. Tim drove them there. That's where he was headed anyway, to pick up his weekly supply of Pepsi.
They all walked in the store together. Tim got what he came for as the little boy kept a close eye on him. When he saw Tim headed to the door with his purchases, he called out, "Wait, wait! Wait for us! Don't go."
It broke my heart a little to think of it, a little boy not even three. He's hiking along in the cold with his mother. Too young really to know what is going on, but old enough to know that there was a man with a warm car who was kind to him.
Could the adults in these stories being doing better for themselves? Are they 'working the system'? Probably, but I don't know. I don't know the back stories. But what I see is the faces of the children. Not a one of them has a choice in the matter.
I'm not going to begrudge them.
It's always the children that suffer the most. They don't ask to be brought into this world and have to deal with messed up parents. At least one in awhile, someone is kind. Thank you.ReplyDelete
We can only try to make it better where ever we can.Delete
There’s a poem by Philip LarkinReplyDelete
“ they fuck you up, your mum and dad
Against my better judgement, I looked up the whole poem. Too late for me, I'm afraid I've already passed my 'fucked up-ness' to the next generation.Delete
You are a good woman.ReplyDelete
I would like to see people stop complaining about lazy adults and who deserves what and just take a look at these kids.Delete
The lot of some is not kind. I am pleased that you do what you can. You never know where a little kindness might lead.ReplyDelete
I can only hope to make a difference.Delete
I appreciate that you do not judge, you just try to help. Thanks, Debby!ReplyDelete
Not going to lie. I am ashamed to say that I do judge, but I can never see a kid and not want the best for them. The judgement part gives way to 'what can we do for the kids'. Tim is the same way.Delete
For the last few years, we've been volunteering to deliver meals to the needy at Thanksgiving and/or Christmas. Often times we have a large stack of containers to drop off and the person answering the door isn't capable of walking and holding them at the same time so I have to enter the house to find my way to a table or flat surface to sit them down for the owners. It is shocking and very sad at the conditions some of these people live in on a daily basis.ReplyDelete
We do the same for our holiday hot meal program here. It is eye opening.Delete
No one knows the back story. It sounds as if yellow cart lady is trying her best. You and Tim are good people.ReplyDelete
I hope she is. I want to put a note on her door to say that if she needs a ride, please call us. I hate to think of that little boy walking along in the cold. He's a wee little guy.Delete
Our schools are out the week of thanksgiving and it breaks my heart to know some of the little kids will not have a nice meal until school starts back next Monday. I worked food service and remembered the little ones coming in on Monday morning so hungry they would lick the corner of their plates to make sure they got the last bite. One day I caught a little girl putting milk in her backpack. I wanted to talk to her to find out why, she told me they had a new baby and had no milk to feed it. I told her to come down right after school and I would give her fresh milk to take home. The milk in her backpack would spoil before time to go home in Florida weather. My heart breaks for the kids, they are the ones that get hurt.ReplyDelete
We were poor when we were kids, but we never went hungry. I think it was different for my husband's family, though.Delete
I grew up in a working class neighborhood that had degenerated a couple more clicks by the time I was an adult. My sister kept her eye on the children and when they did not turn out the day after Christmas in coats and clothes that fit, we went shopping. We packed a big box with a letter from Santa; he had the wrong address and the box was still there when he got home and so he asked the mail man, bla, bla, bla.ReplyDelete
Sure enough, those new clothes were the only clothes we saw saw. That summer they were gone. It's not the first time we've done that. Still happening.
Sadder still is that it is happening all over.Delete
Your second last sentence says it all. these kids don't have a choice where they can do something to improve things.ReplyDelete
In many ways it is the same here in our country. It is hidden but slowly journalists and videos on Youtube are uncovering it. I get so mad when I hear people criticising the poor for not managing their lives better.ReplyDelete
It is just another thing (like race, or religion, or nationality) that allows people to look at other people as less than human. It's not right.Delete
Nice to be gradually returning Debs - thank you for your good wishes.ReplyDelete
I am assuming that this is our Pat! It is nice to see you gradually returning to yourself.Delete
Maybe some will rise above their upbringings and parental role models, but sadly not many. Poor upbringings reap poor upbringings for the next generation.ReplyDelete
You are correct. Which makes the role of people outside the family even more important.Delete