I know who you voted for…

I feel like I need a preface to what I have been thinking about lately.

But nothing seems to fit.
I cannot find proper words… which seems to happen to me more than I would ever like to admit. It is not stupidity. I suppose it is just a general understanding that wise people tend to speak less.

I was watching some kids play in the back ally of my house a couple nights ago. There were six of them… all Spanish-speakers and all about seven years old. The ally was worn and dirty. No grass. Just cars. An urban jungle gym of cement and power cords.

The children did not seem to mind. I suppose you cannot miss something you have never had in the first place. If the space between the apartments was the only space they have ever played in than I guess it really made no difference to them.

They were wild in the best possible way. They ran over cars and threw soccer balls over tall fences. At one point a neighbor came out and started swearing at them for leaning against his car. His complaints fell on deaf ears. They were already on top of the dumpster pulling out an old mattress aka their new homemade trampoline.

I watched them for a long time that night. They fascinated me. More so, they were playing Power Rangers… an all time favorite game of mine. I realized that although I could barely relate to their play area (I was lucky enough to have a backyard growing up) there was still something so familiar about them.

Conclusion: kids are kids no matter what the circumstance. There is something so universal about them. It is why teaching is so exciting to me. Every kid is a chance. Across the board children have a wonderful, new, and exciting potential.

So I come to this conversation today:

“Excuse me, could I talk to your boss for a moment?”

“Sure, of course. She is in the office. I will get her right away.”


“Hi, how may I help you?”

“Yes, we have a concern about our child. You see, we noticed there were a lot of inner city kids in the garden today and we wanted to know what you are going to do to make sure that those kids don’t intermix with our children.”

“Excuse me.”

“Well, we just saw a bunch of black children getting out of a bus and we know that they are from the city. We do not think that you should just allow anyone into the garden. We used to live in the inner city and we know what these kids are like and we do not want our children coming into contact with them. They aren’t savvey enough to deal with it.”

“I understand your concern for your child’s safety but I must tell you that this is a public garden and we do not bar anyone from coming in based on where they are from.”

“Well, if I had known that these kids were going to be here than I would have pulled my kids out of camp. I am sure there are other parents here who have the same concern. We are just willing to say something! You should really let all the parents know if there is going to be children outside of the suburbs coming in.”

I was angry. I thought of choice words to say to this horrible woman. But then I just felt sad. Human beings are so sad to me sometimes.

Within two days I have felt conflicted and fascinated with subtle differences between the simplicity of a child’s mind and an adult’s mind. It seems so backwards… that a child could be so complex and beautiful and a parent so simple and ugly.

And yet, I know many many reasons why so much of what I just said is also a gross stereotype.

All this to say, human beings are interesting. I mean that with so much sincerety. We are wonderfully made controdictions.


~ by kmconrad on August 18, 2009.

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