Injustice: Little Children come unto me

I think I’ve probably posted in the past about the Summer Kids:  the kids from down the street who have ended up at my house nearly every day of every summer for the last few years.  I’ve been the impromptu babysitter for these kids for, wow, I guess now this is the 4th year.  They are brothers, one just older than my son and the other a couple of years older.  This year, that couple of years has seen the oldest turn into a teenager, which means that the difference between the kids has become about far more than age.  From very early on, I figured out that trusting the older one was a bad idea, though I’ve continued to give him chance after chance after chance after…  I’m someone who just thinks that there is good in there, no matter what, and that if you give it enough chances, you might see it work its way out and actually develop.  Apparently, though, I’m no match for whatever else is at work in his day, including his parents.

The younger brother is a sweet child, artistic, kind.  He’s the one we met first all those years ago, as he rode his bike down the street and we introduced ourselves.  He’s finally come into his own this summer, old enough to feel okay telling his brother that, no, he doesn’t want to share his space, actually.  I’d like to think that I’ve helped that along; I’ve certainly encouraged the younger kids that they have a right to their independence from the older kids.

I’ve now had the younger child at my house for 7-8 hours a day for numerous days out of the last week, and I can safely assume that this will continue for the rest of the summer.  It’s even been on the weekend.  It’s when both parents are home or just one, no matter which parent it is.  I sometimes wonder when these people see their kids and if they care whether they do.  I wonder what in the world they do with their kids that is not about what they, the parents, are interested in doing and just drag their kids along.  I wonder why they had kids.

Recently, I’ve twice heard the heartache in this child’s voice as he told me (in so many words – I don’t want to quote) that one of the parents had no interest in him or what he was doing that day, as long as he wasn’t around to be a bother, and as he described an incident with his brother that the brother turned physical, resulting in the bleeding of the younger child.  The incident was entirely dismissed by the parents, and I could hear the bewilderment in his voice as he told me about it and could see that he was fighting not to cry in front of me that his parents, the people he trusted, could be so unjust and so apathetic about the fact that he had been attacked and bloodied – in his own home, no less.

Needless to say, I understood.

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About dyskinesia

Woman, mother, human being, grammarian. I have Attention Deficit Disorder. My child has Asperger syndrome. Philosophy, laughter, therapy, living. Life after divorce.
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7 Responses to Injustice: Little Children come unto me

  1. crisitunity says:

    I suspect they had kids because they felt like they had to.

    That poor kid. This isn’t stuff you can report to Child Protective Services, but it’s stuff that’ll scar him forever. ‘Tain’t fair. I imagine you feel relentlessly annoyed that their parents won’t take care of them but glad that you can be there for the younger one. At least that’s how I’d feel.

    • dyskinesia says:

      Yep, that’s exactly how I feel. It’s hard to walk the balancing line honestly: I want to protect the kid, and I want to offer him the care, concern, and involvement that his family won’t. On the other end of the see-saw, I have to make sure that my including him in our time doesn’t usurp my own family’s family time too. It’s very hard on me some days when I have to send him home. I’d rather it was that his parents would wake up more than anything; I don’t want to be the kid’s mother, not because I don’t like him, but because he already has a mother — and I know that, no matter what, he’ll love her and won’t recast her position in his heart, or his family’s position. I’ve seen too many people who try to take in other people’s kids and treat them as their own, expecting buckets of gratitude and all that. I have no interest in that. The best I can do is hope that I’m there when he needs another adult to show him that his life does not have to be what he sees at home.

  2. Can’t really offer advice…but just be there for the child as much as you can. Your mothering instincts will be able to tell when the time is right for you to step and intervene…it is a very delicate situation.

    I can tell you that one of my three kids ends up with visible signs of blood/bruises every other day…and not from mom or dad.

    • Dyskinesia says:

      Yeah, kids will be kids, but your kids are younger than these two, and in this case, we’re talking about what is said to have been a direct, unprovoked assault (and I have no reason to think he’s fibbing; he’s proven himself better than that in numerous ways). I know it’s something brothers can do to each other, but without being overly specific, if a parent had done it to a child or even adult to adult, it would have been assault. This is not the first time I’ve seen the parents tolerate the older deliberately causing injury to the younger either. If you could have heard him tell me about it, you would have been sickened. 😦

  3. Kimmothy says:

    Well this about broke my heart right in half.
    You know my situation, so I’m sure you can understand when I say it makes me physically ill to read or hear about parents who treat their kids this way. I know life is unfair and all that, but I can’t seem to reconcile any reason that people like this are parents and we’re not.
    I’m so glad you’re there for this boy.

    • dyskinesia says:

      Total aside: It wasn’t terribly long after the surgery where I woke up to basically learn that I wouldn’t be having any more children that The Boy started T-ball. And if ever there were a place to avoid (besides all stores ending in -Mart) if you can’t stand to see craptastic parents, it’s any organized sport league for kids. I would leave there in tears and shaking, more than once, or have to walk away from the stands and other parents because if I didn’t, I was going to go to jail instead. I grew up around sports, so I always imagined myself the ‘team mom’ and losing that image in my head almost had a mourning process of its own because I had tied my parental image to it. The weird things that you never imagine.

      Back to topic: I think about that all the time for you guys, believe me. I’m not exactly in the same boat because I somehow lucked into The Boy (literally, because I now get that it was a frickin miracle), but once I knew I couldn’t have any more, the rage and anguish I felt toward those who could and didn’t appreciate it actually scared me for a good long while. *hug* …. Love you.

  4. Kimmothy says:

    *Sniff*
    I’m not crying, no, I just have something in my eye.

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