As I have shared, we have been blessed to move into a very lovely and spacious home. In all of the places I have lived, I have graciously opened up my home and made it to be the hang out. I love having kids around and for the most part the kids, regardless of their family back round, have behaved well in my home. I have felt that my home is truly a place to just be yourself and enjoy food, fun, and the process of life. My older two loved that their house was where kids wanted to hang out. The younger boys have loved that too.
I remember often the misfits of the neighborhood were always the ones who hung out closest to me in the kitchen, slowly finding their place amongst their peers and moving away as confidence was built to no longer hang back out of fear.
The past three weeks have been a very hard internal struggle. Many tears, anxiety like I have never felt and fear of not knowing what to do, how to handle, and what action to take. We have a neighbor with four children six and under. They are left unattended and wander the streets like rats. I know that sounds terrible, but it has put us into a very difficult situation. I can no longer drive up to my home, open the garage door and let my children out to bring in groceries. Within seconds her children have run into my garage, stirred up things and absolutely have no ears for direction or instruction. Mother is no where to be found. The two year old has been found down the street, crossed over a busy street and in the neighbors driveway more than once. I only know this because as neighbors we are beginning to brainstorm how to handle such a delicate situation.
We have had to spend $1100.00 to put side fences in our yard to keep their kids out. On several occasions they have come into our back yard, even the one year old playing, while parents are no where to be found. My husband and I are beside ourselves. Their six year old decided my four year old was a bad guy and hauled off and just punched him. Eric did not even see it coming. I do not have the energy to parent seven kids under six. I have my own three six and under.
I had to have the fence guys come back out to put reinforcements on our fence because the neighbor kids were climbing it, kicking, and basically our property is used as their constant playground. They only have one car, so often she runs her husband to work early in the morning, leaving all four kids at home. I am sure they are all sleeping, but I can't be certain as she does not supervise them while she is home.
What do I do? I want to be kind and caring to these kids because it is not their fault. But I also want to live my life in peace. A few days ago I had friends over on two separate days. On both days these children were running wild interrupting the flow and fun of having company over. These other moms watched in horror as the one and two year old played around our large Vans, in my driveway. I have spoken, kindly to the mom, explaining to her that her children could not play in my yard and that if they are entering through my front door, they must leave through my front door with an adult handing them off to her or her husband. She looks at me with this blank stare and says okay, but that has yet to be implemented. They are not mean people. They just have little concern over the safety of their children. We were out in our driveway chatting with them about a week ago. Trying to be neighborly. Their two year old ran into our garage and got onto a bike. I said that that bike is really fast, and she needs a helmet and shoes. The poor thing went flying down the hill and crashed into the fence. Neither parent seemed alarmed, as my husband and I watched in disbelief.
This is turning into a long vented plea for ideas on what to do. My husband contacted children's services to ask for some advice as to what we can be doing for our own safety. They did not get involved nor will they unless the police are called. We want to know how to protect ourselves from their children being injured on our property. Last week I felt like I was running rodents off my property. I yelled at the older two kids to stay off my fence, my retaining wall, and that they could not play in my yard without permission, to which they look at you like your speaking a different language. I even went up to the front door and told the mother that I absolutely CAN NOT have her children running about my yard. I said it was intense energy, and now for the past two days her children have been no where in our space.
I feel terrible. I see her children watch as my children have friends over, and other neighborhood kids. I have tested the waters, inviting them into my home when I have complete undistracted attention, because they are not children who obey the rules of a home. This did not turn out so well.
They moved in a week after we moved in and both the grandma and sister-in-law to this family warned me that we were in for it. How encouraging was that? So, for those of you who may have some words of wisdom, please impart your words to me and lift me up in prayer. My husband goes nuts being home on the weekend, and he said this weekend that he can't imagine how I put up with this all week.
I am planting rose bushes next to my new fences because the fence is not providing the barrier we had hoped, as they keep climbing the fence. I can not, nor do I have time to police my yard 24/7. My husband said to me this weekend that something drastic needs to be done before someone gets hurt. So please lift our family up in our prayers. In a sad unfortunate way Ethan saw their one year old take a terrible fall from an outside staircase onto the concrete. Both parents were standing there and it scared Ethan. So he now knows that he can not go over there to play because the parents do not keep the kids safe and we want him to be safe. So we have resolved him begging to play with the neighbors. Which this goes against everything inside me.
Thanks for reading....