Ok, so I’ve mentioned that, a street over, Social Services placed a “family” into a home that would make the Simpsons’ lives appear healthy and emotionally balanced. Anywho, about a month ago, a neighbor let me know that one of the girls took something from our front porch just a few minutes previously. I figured out she had taken our bucket of sidewalk chalk, which we leave there for kids on our block to use. She was still playing in a nearby parking lot, so I walked over and talked with her.
Our conversation was pretty one-sided with me letting her know she could play with the chalk anytime she wanted, but to return it when she was done. I was placing her at about 11 years old (she’s 12), and she hung her head the whole time and never responded. I realized this was not engaging, so I stuck out my hand and introduced myself and asked her name. She looked up, completely surprised (in a good way), and shook my hand, saying her name was “Tasha.” Five minutes later, she returned the chalk.
A few weeks later, I stopped over at the house as the kids were outside (yes, they were all supposed to be in school – there was no half-day). Ahem. I thanked Tasha for returning the chalk, and chatted with all the girls for a few minutes. I gathered that they were bored, and they asked me if I would take them to the park. We agreed to go later at 4 p.m. since I had work to finish from home. I spent almost two hours with most of the girls, with the exception of the oldest and one of the younger girls. And, I carried the oldest girl’s (16) toddler on my hip to give the other two sisters (who, obviously, are always given this chore) a break. They were all well-behaved, and we had a good time. I met the grandma and mother of all the kids and was polite. If I’d told the mom what I really thought of the way they treated these kids, I probably wouldn’t get the chance to talk with them again. So, I’ve decided that, for now, I would rather be a positive influence for the kids (when I can) and just mentally smack the crap out of that mom for being an abusive parent.