Saturday, July 24, 2010

Being Neighborly

(original post date November 2009)
My husband and I were awoken in the wee morning hours by a loud thumping at our door. We went to the door and who should be there but two little girls, about 6 and 3 years old.

“My Mom left us here!” Was the opening line. My mind immediately went into crazy thought mode: Why would someone wait outside our gated community until someone opened the gates just to abandon their child?

After a brief question and answer period, I found out they lived across the hall, and their mom had “gone to work.” I went over to the apartment to see if anyone was in there, and didn’t find anyone. There was a cell phone on the counter, and an air mattress for the kids on the side of the master bed. There was literally nothing in the spare bedroom.

It struck me then that because of the place we live, I have no idea what my next door neighbor does. I don’t know their names, and yet I have their kids. Their scared, abandoned kids. I don’t know them at all, but I’m going to judge them anyway. Because who leaves their kids alone to go to work at 5something in the morning?

About 15 minutes later, their father (I assume, he could just be the boyfriend of the week) came up the stairs and took them home.

Here it is, only a few weeks later, and they moved out in the middle of the night. The eviction notice stares me in the face every time I leave the house.

You know that Sandra Bullock movie they keep advertising for, "The Blind Side"? The part where he says he's never had a bed? I didn't realize that was real for people until I "met" these little girls.

It's sad to know that poverty lived right next door. Now, who knows where they live.
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