For most, this question is easy. You reply with a quick "Of course I know where my child is, are you crazy?" Most parents, live & breathe for their children which makes this question seem so absurd. However, I am not mad to ask this question, as I have come to find out there are quite a few people who have no idea what their children do when they are not looking.
My elderly neighbor's property was vandalized yesterday afternoon. Fresh laid cement, only hours old, was poked, prodded, written in & eventually ruined completely by four neighborhood children. This cement, was the final step of a week long project, an expensive one at that, one that had been pushed off for over four months due to winter. My neighbor had gone over a week without steps to leave her home, she had to crawl over the railing of our conjoined porch to use our steps just to leave her house. She was thrilled when they had finally decided to lay the concrete & finish the project that she has been worrying about for months now.
This morning she knocked on my door, nearly in tears. She was so upset & I felt terrible. I had caught the children not once, not twice, but three times messing with the concrete & each time I came out of my home & told them to stop it & leave it alone. By then it was too late. The concrete had hardened too much & the damage had been done. She confronted the father of the children, the vandals, who live next door to her. They lied, of course, this is not the first time they have destroyed something on her property. Over the summer the kids actually trespassed into her yard to maul her garden. Again, they lied, & the father made no apology.
As we stood on my front porch this morning, I told my neighbor that I will be a witness if she decided to file a police report. I after all, saw the children with my own eyes & even spoke to them three times. Upon saying this to her, the father of the vandals came outside & asked me which exact mark his boys had made. I of course, did not know which mark was made by whom, but I did know that his boys were out hovering over the cement & touching it on three separate occasions. He shook his head & told me that I can't prove his kids did anything because I couldn't tell him which destructive mark each of his sons had made. I then asked him, "Do you know where your children were yesterday evening?" He of course, couldn't answer me. Him & his wife are never home. They let their children, both who are under 12, run around this city neighborhood unsupervised.
I told him he will have to pay to fix it, since his children are the ones who damaged it. He shook his head again, told me to shut up & get back inside my house. This angered me. How dare he speak to me in this way? I told him that he should keep a better eye on his children so that he could say without a doubt that his child was innocent. He then proceeded to step closer to my porch & threaten me, in front of witnesses! I told him that I have no problem calling the cops & sending him back to jail. I won't be bullied & I won't have my amazing ninety year old neighbor bullied either. Someone needs to stand up for her, & I guess I am the one to do it. Am I worried that he might do something, with his record, I would be lying if I said I wasn't. However, I will not become a victim & hide inside my home because he can't handle that I called him out on his way under par parenting skills.
Which brings me back to his children. I've heard these children curse, I've seen them bite, scream, kick, & punch. I have seen them run out in front of cars, light firecrackers under tires, & throw rocks at windows. I've listened to them argue with their mother, only to hear their mother scream profanities & false threats back at them.
As much as I want to blame these children for being so terrible, I can't. You can't be expected to learn class, respect, & manners from a mother & father who have none of their own. So in the end, I pity them. I feel sorry that they are being raised in a home where the "F" word is said more than the "L" word. Where they have no one who cares enough to know where they are at all times. Where they are nothing more than a higher priced check from the government. What is even more terrible, is that this family is not one of a kind. There are families like this on every street in every big city, & there is nothing we can do to help them. It makes me so angry, I could cry.
It's days like today that I realize that even if I were to fail to give my future child the coolest toys, the hottest shoes & the most hip clothes due to finances... even if I am never the cool mom, or the perfect mom, I still know that I will make one heck of a good mom because I have what is most important. I have love to give, respect to show, & manners to teach, & I believe... that is what really counts.
So that is my raw, true, honest & unapologetic rant for tonight. Love your children people, they are our future & this world can use all the love it can get.