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Raising Kids in the Ghetto – Close Relationships are the Key

Well, I’m still remembering and reminiscing about the days when my children were little. I’ll share a few more stories about raising kids in the ghetto.

We ended up in this run-down neighborhood when we bought a house and fixed it up. It was the nicest place in the entire neighborhood, but it would not sell because no one who could afford to buy it wanted to live there.

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, and I suppose every kid has at least one to tell about. Then, there are things that adults do that are truly stupid. Like the guy who lived across the street from us. He would get drunk and lay in the ditch 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 her. I was watching out my bedroom window. I was on hold with the police station…again.

I thought things couldn’t get any worse. Then, another set of renters moved in after the “ladies” were evicted. This family had some bad dogs that were so vicious I couldn’t let my kids play in our own front yard. The dogs tore everyone’s trash out and strew it all over our yard; trash that included the front leg of some 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. 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 securely to my front porch ready for their ride to the Animal Shelter later that afternoon.

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.

Raising kids in the ghetto is much more difficult than raising them in a safe neighborhood. The key to keeping kids safe is to make friends with your neighbors so you know who you can trust. Then, you help look out for one anothers kids. You have to know where your kids are all the time and youd better have a close relationship with them if you want to survive. Praying a lot helps too.

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.