100_2447On my way home tonight I was listening to a talk radio guy..and well he kinda irks me at times. He was talking about this reinvestigation on the 6 yr old who turned up missing 30 years ago, and they are now thinking he might have been killed very close to his home , by an adult who was nice to him, and possible buried under a new basement floor that was supposedly put down right after he turned up missing.

The radio guy..he is not afraid to say anything..so he was rambling on about child stalkers-murderers and such..and that you never should trust person older that the kids they are around, who has a liking to smaller kids. Well this brought me back to being about 13 years old… I lived in a neighborhood that was referred to as suburbia. Where there are streets that loop off of a main street through the development, and kids found the street a fairly safe place to play.

For a car to come down the street-they had to go super slow—there were signs up all over saying kids playing. It was okay to do. So I would play with my younger brothers and sisters… they were step down in ages from me—my brother was 4 years younger, followed by a brother 5 years younger, a sister 8 years younger and a sister 10 years younger. The sun would come up and we would go out..we played tag, hide and seek, jump rope, badminton, we bounced tennis balls, went together to the community  pool, went to the school playground, played jacks, and the  most fun was kick ball.

The street we lived on had to have about 14 kids on it at least. Many the ages of my younger brothers and sisters . I often was incharge of watching them—so the play time was also babysitting time in action.I remember a guy about my age who would sometimes come down and play kick ball with all of us. The little kids would choose the 100_2383teams..and well to them I was the prize person on the team. My legs were longer, I was taller, and I could kick the ball to the end of the street. I LOVED playing with all the younger kids. WHY?? Because they were real, they were innocent, they were not judgmental…  we had a mutual respect for each other..and I had people to play with while watching my siblings.

I remember this one day…. summer was probably 2/3rds of the way through..and only a few kids came out to play 100_2860_editedwhen I was out there. It was strange—like a ghost town feeling. I did not know why..but I felt all of the sudden super uncomfortable. Every once in a while I would see a curtain drop down, like people were spying out their windows at me…One of the kids snuck out of their house and apologized to me..saying the kids wanted to come out but their parents said they couldn’t. Seems some of the parents were talking to other parents and they all think it was strange I liked playing with the younger kids…. the assumption seemed like I must have had ulterior motives…

I was crushed… I felt discriminated against… I felt so hurt and lost. I had done nothing wrong… Sometimes when we were playing a kids might come up and give me a hug and say they loved me… but it was all innocent…For the rest of the summer my brothers and sisters played out with me… and when I was not out there—they played with their friends.

That was the last summer I played neighborhood kickball…and I think it was a ground breaker in realizing how unfair people could be…. and as I listened to this guy tonight generalizing about people older than your kids being really friendly with kids … it brought back that horrible time..when I felt guilty until proven innocent… but there was never a time to prove myself..the parents told their kids they could not play when I was out there…. 

Now these same parents had me babysit their kids after their accusations settled down… and I did it without ill feeling towards the parents… for I figured they were weak and evil at the time they banned their kids from me…. see I NEVER stopped being cordial to the people who made these assumptions… I would go out early in the morning and 100_2814shoveled their driveways for free that next winter—I smiled and waved at them….it was their problem—just my hurt… It was a great learning experience in turning the other cheek….

I think as parents –we have to look at the whole picture. Make sure our kids are safe—but do not label people without knowing what you are talking about. Yes I know that sometimes a close friend or relative is a person who might commit crimes against children— but we can not assume everyone is like that. The pain you cause the innocent—the abandonment they feel..the loss….it may lay inside ones souls and heart dormant… BUT  it never goes away…Love to all, Mrs Justa alias Cindy