I see a little boy looking out of his window every day. He looks sad? Maybe bored? Anxious to go outside? I don’t know. But every day I I sit here and wonder.
He lives in a roach hotel. You know the kind. The ones you rent by the week. I work right across the street from this hotel. And the things I see make me run home and hug my own children. The kids run around outside in diapers in the middle of winter. No supervision. Cops come once a week at least either looking for, or arresting somebody
A few months ago there was a cute little girl playing outside all day. At one point she decided it was time to go inside. She knocked and knocked on the door. But they wouldn’t let her in. Finally, a man opened the door and told her to get the hell away from the door. Then he shut it and locked it. She left for a few minutes then came back. She knocked again. The man threatened to beat her ass. He told her HE would tell HER when it was time to come in.
Dejected, the girl went and sat on the sidewalk for a little while. Then decided she’d try again. Same results. At this point my coworker decided she needed to call CPS. A few minutes later, the cops arrived. I don’t know what happened but I do know the little girl was finally allowed back in the room/apartment. Only problem is, same thing happened the next day, cops were called again. By the next week, that family was gone.
Where is that little girl going to end up when she grows up? Will she be in an abusive relationship? Will she resort to drugs to mask her pain? Where will she be in five years? Will she have survived her childhood undamaged? Will she even live that long?
Every time I see an older kid, hoodlum, gangster, thug, I always think to myself, “this kid was once a cute adorable little boy/girl.” And it makes me sad. I wonder if he grew up in an atmosphere where he didn’t know any better. He simply followed the footsteps that were left behind for him.
Perhaps he didn’t know he had better choices. I can’t help but wonder what this cute little boy in the window will be when he grows up. Will he be a teacher, a truck driver, a cop?, a store clerk?, an author?, a rapist?, a murderer?
I know that sometimes as parents we do the best we can and our kids still turn out rotten. I realize that. I understand that somewhere along the line they will have choices to make and they may not be the right ones. And sometimes these choices will be life altering.
One of my son’s good friends recently was suspended for possession of cocaine. This is a kid that I’ve watched grow up before my very eyes. He’s a star football player that at one point was probably at a party, or with his older cousins, or whatever… and was asked to try cocaine. He chose YES. He has now changed his life course. He can no longer play football. Will he change his life around at this point? I don’t know? But he has a choice. And he has a strong family support at home in case he chooses drugs are not for him.
But some kids don’t even have that choice. Just like the kids that I see living in the roach hotel. Their parents are probably druggies, or alcoholics. These kids are born into a world much different than what you and I know. They live things we only see on T.V. And the cycle is hard to break. It can be done But it is not easy. Who is going to take the time nowadays to help these kids out? To show them that life DOES get better. Who is going to tell them they have other choices than what they are experiencing right now? These kids have no moral or emotional support at home and are in desperate need of a mentor. They need somebody to believe in them. They need somebody to love them. They need somebody to teach them. Will you be that somebody? Will I?
*originally posted on Kick Off Your Shoes And Stay A While on Friday, October 27, 2006