Today I was going to write about something funny I experienced, but then tonight happened.
I had just finished putting Little One to bed when I heard tons of screaming coming from out on the street (Sadly we have a house on the block that often participates in these activities, even though it’s been different families over the years.). I looked outside to see a neighbor threatening some girl. Within three minutes, a physical fight began and the police came down both sides of the street (Apparently someone called them when the verbal fight was taking place.). As I continued working inside my house, I could hear the loud conversations taking place and my mind raced with thoughts of all the other places we could live. I am very ready to move! I have had enough of the drugs, fighting and shootings. It was one thing when I was living here as a single woman, then it became a little different after I married; however, now as a mother, I want out! We are determined as a family to find a way to live in an area that is safer (Though I am not naïve, I know that no place is perfect.). My husband and I want to have conversations with our children about unsafe things in life, I do not want them exposed to all of it simply because I am trying to take them on a walk in the neighborhood before they are even school-age. All of these thoughts are flooding my mind again and then I notice that the police are leaving.
It is at this moment that I hear one of the small pre-school children who live in that house calling outside, “Hey cop, thank you for coming to our house!” Perhaps I’m emotional because I have a little child, but I nearly began to cry. Yes, that was sweet to hear the little child say; however, that wasn’t the part that tug at my heart the most. It was the fact that he had to experience the cops coming period. These siblings waddle around in their diapers along the sidewalks, while observing more about life than many adults in other parts of the country have ever experienced for themselves AS ADULTS. As a former teacher in urban school districts and given my own history, I have personally seen the effects of home life on children and how it continues to impact them over the years. My heart was broken. How are these children internalizing what they witness on a daily basis? How is it shaping their views of the world? How is it molding what they will become as adults? How will the cycle end when it’s seen as so “normal”? And perhaps the most disturbing question, why are we, as a society, allowing our children to be raised in this “normal” and what are we effectively doing to help the children (The problems are rooted way deeper than simply buying kids stuff and considering that our way of “helping.”)?
By this point, you are probably confused as to how this can be a post about being thankful; well, let me explain. Although I was heart-broken for the children in the house, I was thankful for having our house and for the fact that I believe we will one day be able to move and that we can raise our child in a safe environment. Likewise, I felt grateful that I married a man who will partner with me in protecting our children to the best of our abilities, while also explaining to them the realities of the world in which we live. By the end of the loud night, this is where I found my gratitude.
Meanwhile, let’s soften the mood by sharing my original picture from today:
I found this baby changing station to be hysterical because that is as far as it comes down since the pipes are in the way. Ha ha! I’m taking it that whoever installed it does not have children, or never changes diapers. As I left the restroom (still laughing) with Little One in a wet diaper, a maintenance man appeared and apologized for the changing station (I like how he knew what I was laughing about.) He explained that they had nowhere else to place it and that the pipes were new due to some recent renovations. I assured him that it was fine and that I enjoyed the chuckle. Thanks God for humor!
Ahmeli… that society can find ways to effectively help the root of problems so that we can stop cycles from repeating themselves.
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