Lately, there has been a quiet in the daytime that comes from all the little kids that spent the summer riding their scooters and bikes up and down these sidewalks finally returning to school. And I usually am one of those people who thinks kids get too short of a summer, but I was so glad to see them gone.
There is no way to say it nicely, these kids? My neighbor's children? THEY ARE RUDE.
It started when I left my windows open one day. I looked up from cleaning to see about 10 little faces smushed up on my window screens and then the chatter started:
wow, you have nice stuff.
Is she your daughter?
What your name?
Can I come in and play your guitar?
The next afternoon, when Pappa Starbucks came home, they followed him to our door, I suppose expecting to be invited in. The youngest boy, about 3, began ringing our doorbell over and over until Pappa Starbucks blurted out a 'HEY! Stop.'
Then, after he came inside they stood there, staring in again. One of the older girls OPENED our door and out went the dog- happily, eagerly. Squealing ensued.
When Pappa Starbucks, exasperated at this point, retrieved him, he was met with:
IS SHE Yer WIFE? How come she's WHITE? Is that her baby? Does she have a daddy? You ain't as black as my daddy. Why is you with a white woman? My mamma says white women--
he told them that he had to go.
Yesterday I left the windows open again for most of the day, and in the afternoon I had them open when the kids all came home. They must have smelled them from their house because here they came, climbing on our doorstep, shimmying up onto our window ledges, jumping from the neighbor's stoop to ours.
It's my BIRTHDAY!!! One of them yelled.Did you get me a present?
I said no, but Happy Birthday to him.
Can we come in?
I said no.
Our Mammas aren't home and we bored. Can we come in and play with your baby?
I said absolutely not, that children shouldn't go into stranger's houses. I said that they shouldn't talk to stranger's either unless their mom said it was OK.
Well....our Uncle will be here in a while we will ask him.
I simultaneously feel heartbroken for them being all alone and angry at their parent/s for not protecting them. It is one thing to let your kids play outside, and another to leave them outside under the care of another child (the oldest girl is about 9) until an adult arrives an hour or two later.
It breaks my heart and sets my jaw, but I don't know what to do.