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Do You Remeber...?
BeFore The Steet Lights Come On...
Man charged with holding up 11-year-old
February 26, 2009 7:48 AM | 11 Comments A 35-year-old Hazel Crest man has been charged with robbing an 11-year-old boy of $23 on Chicago's West Side last night........allegedly approached the boy about 10:30 p.m. in the 400 block of North Cicero Avenue and demanded money,
After reading this short summary of the story above. Whats wrong with the story..two things; 11 young years old, 10:30 PM on a school night. Now in a land and time oh so long ago. I very distinctly remember (and felt on my backside when I did not make it in) my grandmother telling me 1. Don't go off the sidewalk when you play. 2. Don't talk to strangers 3. If someone tries to grab you Kick, Scream Blood Murder while yelling 'FIRE!!! ( for some reason people react to fire than to 'help me') and 4. "Have you butt in the house Before those street lights come on!!" There were other rules of course, but these were the main ones. And living in Chicago ( Only during the summer months) it kept me and my butt safe.
We live in a time, when, its not safe to walk alone, let alone being out after 6 O'clock PM. Heck, Its not that safe to go to school. I use to worry for my kids when they were little and in school of the school Bully, but I worry if the teacher is going to get the hots for one of my grandchildren age 3 years to 10 years old, 8 in all 4 & 4 or my very vulnerable 17 year old son. Or an even worse nightmare shooting from a student, with a grudge.
Where were this child's parents? At home, not caring and were they charge with anything for the boy being out that late. Was he going to the store for his parent/s. Did or do his parent/s work second shift and hes a latch key kid, that turned the latch and went out. The questions are endless on this one. But, for what ever the reason, he is not alone. There are a lot of parents that are suppose to love and care for their child/ren, leave the child to fend and care for themselves. The parent/s never check to see where the child is who they're hanging around with or what they are doing. They usually find out, either when they have to stand before a Judge in court or at the Coroners Window identifying their child's body.
Personally, when my children were little, I was a very strict parent. I put the fear of God and Mama in them and not in that order. My children were latch key kids for a long time, so I can understand if this is the case with this child. But, they also knew not to go outside or let anyone one inside, even if a relative,(that lived half block away and a cousin that lived next door). Only time to open that door is if it were me, someone was hurt bad and they had to go for help or the house was on fire or flooding. And they were younger than the the 11 yr. old.
Being a single parent, I worked two jobs, one part-time day job and a full-time nights the grave yard shift. I was terrified to leave them, but not having any help from the father. I had to provide for them, hiring a sitter was out, I would have to get another job just to pay a sitter.
Sometimes I'd take them with to work with me and hide them. I worked in a nursing home then at night, I would let them sleep in one of the empty rooms. Start getting my patients up early and ready for the day had all my rooms done. and would leave early before the bosses got there. The kids loved it, we got to see each other, and I missed them. That lasted for two years, then I got another job as a Process Server, I made my own hours. Loved it. The day job was great, driving school bus. When one of the kids had a field trip I made sure I got the assignment, they'd be so surprised and proud to see me driving for their class.
When I read a story like this 11yr old child, I always think of the greatest documentary film makers; Larry Clark's movie 'Kids' (1995), that movie scared me and my kids. We kept tabs on each others whereabouts religiously, yes I let them watch it, we watched it together. After about 15-20 minutes into the movie my oldest asked "where are those kids mothers and fathers at". I was wondering the same thing as well. I think I saw one parent a mother nursing a baby. The children from that were all from the streets of New York, some went on to do very well in the acting field, I think two did pass-away.
The Larry Clark documentary video does have some language and photos that are not for young eyes. So Please don't let them see it. I like Larry Clark's tell it just like it is honestly. People either don't like to hear the truth or see it up front dead in their face. And Larry Clark gives it like that.
We as parents, when we see the little signs don't ignore them, stop it before it gets worse. I think the toughest love is tough rough love.
My 17 year old, going on 35 knows all there is to life and what it holds. He is a follower, wanting to be with the in crowd, much like the some of the kids in the movie, just not as deep into the same..at least so I thought. From watching this once bright and highly intelligent child go from all 'A's to straight 'F's. Through up the kids movie major big red flag for me. I started to watch him more closely, I started with his jobs. He worked two jobs but never had any money, I found out why. His so called friends, raised in a christian home. Where into drugs, drinking and other things.
My son like all or most his age feel that mom doesn't know anything and mom will never find out. Well somebody Lied to him, when someone changes like that something is wrong somewhere. And before I will allow the high life of the streets take my son. I sought out to find help for him and I found a Children's Home for him. I applied and they accepted him. We are to leave sometime this month. Its named the Smoky Mountain Children Home http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_o_Xvub0jSw Its a very nice place, down in Sevierville, TN (I wanted to get him as far away from these bad elements as I could) has a great turnout of turning children around like my son and worse. Children whose parents have literately left them on the door steps with all their belongings in a trash bag.
Now, my son is none to happy with me now, in fact he hates me. But, that's okay, I'll take the hate 6' above the ground than him below it any day of the week.
It is so vitally important that we stay in-touch and in-tuned to our child's life, friends, hangout places. Their academic curriculum at school, the teachers at school. I'd make surprise visits to the school to not check up on my child, but to check on the staff. I'd let them, know how proud I was of them, I'd mail cards to the school so that the teacher would give it to them and have them to read it before the class. I wanted everyone to know I love this wonderful person. Now, the three older ones are grown, and still send them cards and send card to the grand-children's school. I think they get a bigger joy out of it than their parents did.
Take time, and make time for them, read http://hubpages.com/hub/Free-fun-for-Families by Anna Marie Bowman, it has some great info for things to do for free as a family, read the comments you and you gain some-more ideals.
Don't let your child end up like one of in the kids portrayed in 'Kids' the movie or to see their face on the police mug shots shown in the link below. Take a look see at;ages, and crimes.
Oh, if they could just stay little til their 'Carter' wear out.
Is This Our Future..
..Future of Our Youth...Learned by Example
- Man charged with holding up 11-year-old - Chicago Breaking News
- Mugs in the news -- chicagotribune.com
Collection of Chicago area arrest photos. Arrest and booking photos are provided by law enforcement officials. Arrest does not imply guilt, and criminal charges are merely accusations.A defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty and convited
- How to Find Free Things to Do on Weekends (for a Family) - wikiHow
wikiHow article about How to Find Free Things to Do on Weekends (for a Family).
- How to Make More Free Time for Your Spouse or Family | Simple Marriage
Photo courtesy thanker212 Editor's Note: This is a guest post from Leo Babauta of Zen Habits, author of The Power of Less. I'm a happily married man and a