Friday, September 11, 2009

Thoughts on Children, other people's

One of the hard things, among a thousand other things, of living in the city is seeing a scene that I've seen several times before and saddens me. About a week ago I heard a woman on the escalator cursing a blue streak. The words, "damned" "ass" and possibly MF were used. It was harsh language. I didn't see her until the escalator brought her halfway up and I noticed the object of her curses, impatience and annoyance was a child no more than 3 years old. She's not the first mother I've heard curse viciously with nasty blue language in the hood.
I've just finished reading another blog's comments where the majority's sentiment could be boiled down to some people shouldn't have children and there should be some screening process to keep any old body from being a parent. Well considering what criteria people would put up then I guess in that world I wouldn't have the most amazing nieces and nephew. Because seriously, what panel in their right mind would allow my sister to reproduce? She's not the sharpest knife in the drawer and one of the biological fathers of the kids was in prison. She isn't monied. She's very likely to remain low-income. But despite her parenting skills, she's got some great kids.
She isn't the only person with some influence in how the kids are raised. There is their grandma, their step-father, their uncle & aunt (in the case of the nephew), and a gaggle of intrusive other family members. We step in and sometimes take over where she fails. With the exception of my nephew's adoption my my uncle & aunt, there is nothing formal. None of what happened was predicted at the time of their arrival. Who knew she was going to get married? Who knew I was going to buy them a house? Who knew that the nephew would charm another set of relatives so much they would keep him? Who knew? Nobody, 'cept G-d. And maybe that's why we need to leave a lot to him and not some eugenics board.

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