living in the city

last night after work I was riding home
the phone rang
hate when that happens... but it happens
like a hypocrite I pulled my backpack off and dug through my pack for the phone
answered the call and kept pedaling along at a slow pace
my wife had just arrived at the elementary school by our house
so rather than riding home
I rode to the playground at this nearby school


boys will be boys
kids will be kids

I did stupid stuff growing up
and growing up did not stop when I turned six
no... the stupid stuff and the growing up continued for years after college
I did things in my twenties that were beyond immature... things that were just plain stupid
I am still growing
I am still doing stupid stuff

so, when I am in the park with my family I try to be patient with the older children around my kids
but, it is hurtful to watch my sons get entranced by the activity of the older boys
for my two and five year old to learn from these obnoxious adolescents scares me

it was a standard summer day
the kids in the park have nothing to do... or at least they are doing nothing
so... they tease each other... they pick fights with each other
there is spitting
there is pushing
there is cussing
lots of cussing
very little is said other than cussing

my two boys sat longer then they can normally sit
they sat and watched
it was quite a show
a show that made me want to change the channel

eventually I was able to get my boys to put on their helmets then mount up on their bikes and ride home
they enjoyed the novelty of me riding along side of them
five year old dean has a strong advantage over two year old grant
it is frustrating as I can not move along with both of them
so we tried to ride around the block to give us a chance interact with grant twice

on our second pass grant was off the bike
mommy was walking brutus and carrying the bike
so I put grant on the top tube and told him to hold on
he loved this
with caution I finished the final blocks for home
dean speeding right behind me
as I worked the moving pick

it was good to be on the bike with the kids
it was good to be away from the urban element

I am sure that suburban kid cuss and tease as much as urban kids
but... most suburban kids may curb their behavior around smaller children
or at least tone things down when a few parental figures are in the area
not these kids...
not sure if the presence of their own parents would stop them from tossing their trash on the ground or drawing on the slide with their sharpie magic marker
somehow I think that the parents of these kids are no closer to roll models for my kids

what is a parent to do?
avoid that park?
approach the kids and ask them to behave?
I at least try to explain to my children after we left that the behavior of those boys was inappropriate
that the teasing and spitting was mean
that such behavior is unacceptable
the trash on the ground.... that is a given
my two year old knows that is wrong
do those kid's parent's know that it is wrong to litter?
more than likely not... as they anticipate that someone will pick it up
they are right... my wife picked up the soda bottles and empty bags of chips before they got carried into the woods of Rock Creek Park

there were other kids in the park
there were the kids sitting on the jungle gym
there were kids playing basketball
the kids playing basketball were all very involved in their game
it is not like all the kids in the park should not be there
the park is there for them to play
this is their neighborhood park
it you just going to urinate on the slide...
enough said