Friday, January 16, 2009

Childhood Memories

For some reason today I am remembering some of the instances of my kids childhood. It tends to make the present seem a little less stressful and a little more believable. I thought I’d share a few of them with you just for kicks.

We lived in a rough neighborhood when my kids were little. Some creep tried to seduce them into their car with candy one day while they were playing in front of my grandmother’s house (she lived next door to us). My son who was about 8 or 10 years old at the time grabbed his little sister and dragged her home to tell me. I thought they had been watching too much TV but I must have been living in denial. I didn’t think the ‘hood was that bad until the kid up the street was suspended for taking a gun to school. He was one of my son’s daily playmates. It seemed par for the course when my kids told me about fights on the bus nearly everyday. That’s when we decided to sell our house and get out of there. It was on and off the market for 6 years because nobody wanted to live in that neighborhood. My parents finally bought it just to get our kids out of that school district. My parents finally bought the house so we could move to higher ground in the outskirts of town. When we left, the Lopez’s went with us and found a house in a subdivision close by. That way our kids could finish their multi-cultural raising without having to contend with the violence of living in the city.

What else? Then there was the time my son sliced his head open on the mailbox playing football in the street. (He caught the pass though!) While we were at the emergency room waiting to be sewn up, we met another of my son’s playmates who was having a bb removed from his hand. I think my son or Jamie shot him. Jamie and his brother Mickey answered their mom in English when she spoke to them only in Spanish. I thought that was kind of neat. We only understood half the conversation, but Mrs. Lopez could cook a meal like nobody’s business and she brought goodies over on a regular basis. I liked the Mexicans and the Puerto Ricans and the Africans on our street, and we looked after one another’s young ‘ens. It was the white trash I didn’t care for too much. Well, shooting Johnny didn’t have any deterrence on my kids’ ambition about ammunition. My son shot his bb gun through the thicket behind our house not realizing it was penetrating through to the neighbor’s yard below. He nearly shot a small child who was playing outside. The parent was real mad. I learned a few new curse words that day from my neighbors.

It was cold outside and my son was playing in the backyard. He wanted to warm things up a bit. When things heated up a bit too much he came running into the house with this terrified look on his face. “Mmmmmommy?” I could tell something was wrong. Observant, aren’t I?

“What is it?”

“F-f-f-fire! Mm-m-momie!”

“Tell mommy what happened. You aren’t in trouble, just tell me….” He didn’t have to. I looked out the window to see the playhouse engulfed in smoke. I ran out of the house, grabbed the hose, and ran to the rescue. It was only a matter of minutes before everything was under control, but my daughter has been mad at her brother ever since for melting her plastic stove; dishes, play food, and all.

Those are accidents, I suppose, and everyone has their share to tell about, but then there are things that adults do that are truly stupid. Like the guy across the street who lay in the ditch drunk night after night until the police came out to get him back into the house when someone finally complained of his moaning. And the two gals who lived next door who fought all the time. One day the blond got into her car and tried to run over the redhead. She missed the first time so she took a second and a third try until she succeeded in penning her against the concrete wall with the bumper with no place to run. Then she proceeded to beat the hell out of her. I was watching out my bedroom window. I was on hold with the police station…again. I thought that was pretty retarded and that things couldn’t get any worse. Then another set of renters moved in when the ‘ladies’ were evicted. This family had some badass dogs that were so vicious I couldn’t let my kids play in my own front yard. That’s not to mention that the dogs tore the trash out and strew it all over our yard; trash that included the front leg of some dead animal, probably a deer since it was hunting season. I called the landlord and the police. I was told there was nothing that could be done unless I could get the dogs into captivity on my property. I’m telling you my son’s bb gun took care of that situation right away. Mommas can shoot too! I just can’t hit a target, but the sweet pup was tied tightly to my front porch ready for their ride to the Animal Shelter after just a few days of that mess.

One day I was doing my quilting or playing piano and minding my own business when the GBI came to my front door asking questions about my neighbor. I was asked to identify a hat he wore often. The next morning after I got my kids off to school, I awoke to a loud noise in the backyard. People were screaming and hollering (that’s southern for yelling). By the time I found my eyeglasses, a policeman was straddling atop my neighbor’s back. The young man was lying face down in my petunias while the officer placed handcuffs to arrest him right there in my backyard. His crime? He had killed a woman that he had picked up at the bar down the street. He then stuffed her body into the trunk of a car, drove the car to a local park, left it there, and got a ride home like nothing had happened. Only in the movies, so I thought.

Well, that’s enough of remembering for one day. I get to sleep late in the morning. I think I’ll go to bed early and get a head start.

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