Welcome back to You Make The Call-where Mrs. Hall has an ethical dilemma and you can help her with it!
There a number of kids in my neighborhood, including my own-- Pancake (girl age seven), Mac (boy age 3.5). Two houses down there are a few boys, ages 7-8, heavily into skateboarding and even have a ramp in their driveway. None of these kids are the local punks.
In fact, I would love it if Pancake hung out with the boys. But they are rough and skateboard and well, Pancake is ok with roller blading and riding her bike, but really, my girl enjoys playing then stopping and looking at flowers. The boys down the street are go go go go go!! So, hmm.
THEN there is Chris. He is ten. And becoming attached to Pancake. We have always had reservations with Chris. Chris is always outside, always running around in the neighborhood. His mother, who is fat and large and lazy, often will stop by looking for him. Because she doesn't know where he is half the time. I don't think she cares. Which is fine. Everybody comes from somewhere. And sometimes where we come from-- is not so nice.
Except Chris is sometimes not so nice. You can tell the boy has no training or social grace. I often find him playing in the street, walking around not being careful for traffic. He'll just walk into our house if the door is open. He will ring the door bell six times. We've told him several times this is not acceptable behavior. And he comes over a lot. Every day, at least 2-3 times a day. Because his Mom doesn't want him in the house during the day. He asks for meals.
There have been questionable behaviors. Like when he bummed a dollar off of Pancake to buy something at a garage sale. This is no good. But he tried to make up for it by giving Pancake one of his Wii games from his house. When we opened it, there were bugs inside. Dead bugs, but still.
Then THEN there is his little sister Autumn. She is five. She is often with him and uses Mac's tricycle because she doesn't have her own. Their fat, lazy Mom doesn't watch her either. All day they are outside, being ragamuffins. And beginning to latch onto us. And for the most part, I've let them. I feel soo sorry for those kids. At least for Autumn.
Yesterday Chris had a run-in with the other boys down the street. He took one of their skateboards and tried to hide it. Then he tried to burn it in his fireplace. He was either trying to destroy the evidence that he took it or he was trying to destroy it because he was mad.
blink. blink. blink.
He was on our front porch when I heard the skater boys yell out to Chris, "Next time you take my stuff my Dad is calling the cops!" The Dad must have been really pissed.
And really, this shook me up something fierce. Because Chris is following the trajectory of mini-criminal. Because--if don't have parents who care and nurture you, you don't learn how to care for you or the things around you. So if you get mad, or if you want something, you just take it. And if your Mom doesn't bring down the wrath of God for such an act, you don't learn that stealing and burning stuff is wrong.
He will learn though. Contact with the police is a very good way to learn.
SO here's the dilemma. What the hell do I do with Chris? He hasn't done anything wrong with Pancake. He hasn't taken anything of ours. And. He responds to us. He responds to Mr. Hall. He craves a Daddy and Mr. Hall has some to spare.
Plus, Pancake likes him. She enjoys hanging out with him and Autumn.
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