Sometimes our neighbourhood makes me really sad.
Tonight at 10:30 I got a craving for an ice cream sandwich, so I decided to walk to 7-11.
Along the way, I passed by a house where two girls were standing on the front porch, blaring some rap music. They were calling to some guys who were parked in two separate cars in front of the house. "Come sit on the porch with us," they pleaded. The guys were fine specimens. Big baggy basketball shirts, shorts hung low, tatooed arms, baseball caps on sideways. They muttered something about the girls' "ghetto" music, and the girls played their part and acted pissed. Everyone gave me a good look over as I walked passed. I made sure to hold my head a little higher as if to say, "you're not intimidating me."
Then I got to the 7-11. There was a family sitting on the curb. Young mother with a toddler in a stroller, another one running around the parking lot (and getting yelled at for it), and another one obviously in the belly. And she was smoking. Did I mention it was 10:30 at night?
I got the ice cream sandwich and Jeff's Drumstick and headed home. As I passed by the party house, the guys were still hanging out in and around their cars, the music was still blaring, but only one girl was on the porch. And as I passed, I saw that she was sitting on the porch floor, bottle feeding her baby.
A lot of days this doesn't affect me. I see the teen moms all the time, walking their strollers, yelling at their kids, joking coarsely with their boyfriends. But somehow this really bothered me tonight. I thought of sweet Kaiya, sleeping in her crib at home, and about how those babies are the same as her. The same innocence, the same desire to be held and loved. And I thought of what Robyn has said to me, about how so many kids out there don't get the basic love and care that we shower all over Kaiya every day.
And it broke my heart.