Wednesday, December 15, 2010

So much to say

We had a blizzard this past weekend, as most of you experienced also. It was crazy. It was a long weekend. On Monday, school in Minneapolis, where we live, was canceled. My kids go to a weird school district called West Metro Education Partnership (WMEP). It is 50% Minneapolis kids, and the rest are kids from 10 west metro school districts.

So, our school was not canceled, thankfully. But our kids are all bused by the districts that we lived in. That means we had no buses running. I was kind of thinking this would be the case, and was planning on Monday morning to drive the kids to school. About 1/2 hour before the bus normally comes, the school posted that they were open on Facebook, but there would be no buses if you lived in a district that was closed. This is pretty much the first time this has happened.

Well, there were not many kids at school. One of my kids had 5 kids in class. When I dropped them off in the alley at school (they go to school in downtown Minneapolis), before i had even pulled out of the alley, a teacher called my cell phone to laugh hysterically at me. Here is what she said, pretty much: "Only YOU would get your kids to school when there are no buses. Only YOU!!! I suppose you were ready for a break from Akila?" I laughed hysterically (this teacher and I have a really good relationship, and we tell it like it is). I said that I was actually sick of all 4 of them, after being cooped up in the house since school on Friday. That made me laugh. My kids were 4 of very few kids from Mpls that made it to school that day. I am so proud.

On the way to school, Imani randomly was asking why they don't put all the bad kids in one class and all the good kids in one class. A good question. I was explaining the many reasons why they that wouldn't be a good idea. She said she would like that for just one day to see what it would be like. During the day, I was thinking that it might kind of seem like that, since it so happens that some of the kids from the city happen to be the ones with more challenging behavior. I don't know how to say this without sounding prejudice. It is not completely this way, of course there are easy and not so easy kids in the burbs and the city. But I wondered if it would feel like she was getting her wish.

When I picked them up from school, the first thing Hezekiah said to me was that Imani got her wish, and it was mostly good kids today. Very interesting. Tuesday, there were no buses, but a few more kids made it to school as they knew there were no buses. Today, the buses were running. And ours got stuck. They had to send another bus for the kids to board. What an adventure.

Last February, I wrote about a young woman who had lived behind us in the alley years ago. I had run into her at CVS and talked to hear about not having kids and being on birth control, among other things. She called me tonight. And yes, you guessed it. She is pregnant. Not married. 20 years old. No job. Not in school. Living on welfare and SSI. Keeping the baby. Not drinking (praying she is telling the truth). Starting school in January (she has told me this the last two times I have seen her- which have been at 6-9 month intervals).

My heart is sad tonight. I know this young woman enough, to know that parenting is going to be a challenge for her. She is going to stop by next week and I will be praying for wisdom and the words that are right. I have been really struggling lately with the abuse and co-dependence that I have been witnessing of the welfare system, and the unemployment system. I know that there are people out there that are or have used both systems properly, but I can honestly say, that I rarely see those situations. I know I am sounding cynical, but it is hard to live in North Minneapolis, and see amount of abuse.

I know I am going to stir up some heated comments here, but I guess that is OK once in awhile. Remember, I acknowledge that the system sometimes works. But I am convinced that it does not the majority of the time.


GB's Mom said...

I love you. There, that knocks down one hate comment.

jodilee0123 said...

I think a lot of people refuse to see reality. The things I myself have been exposed to through the doors of open adoption have truly brought the real world to light. God's plan for me is much greater than i would have ever imagined.

You were also probably able to get your kids to school because you probably drive a bigger vehicle to be able to seat everyone--so it could drive through the snow. I would have gotten my kids there too--if they were in school yet! haha!

I do enjoy your stories. Probably a glimpse of what is to come for me someday! :0)

the johnson crew said...

i'm with you barb. it is sad. from what i saw with some of the girls in our youth group as well as in our neighborhood that children were an "accessory" or even a "trophy" and a means to a bigger check. meanwhile the kids get dragged everywhere with out proper care (love, nutrition, rest, structure)... just like a baby doll being toted around town. truly heartbreaking.

Anonymous said...

I'm raising one of those "trophy" kids - he started the first three years of his life as a sort of living baby doll. When his little sister was born, he got shuffled off to the side and left in the crib to fend for himself (he was two). There are days where, if I could get my hands around that girl's neck, I'd go straight to Hell for murder for what she has done to this wonderful little boy!

So, when you talk to her, let her know if you get the chance, that there are a mom and dad with arms wide open if she wants to make the grown up decision and do the best for that baby!

Jessica B said...

oh dear. Stories like this just make my stomach and heart ache to the point I could throw-up. All you can do sometimes is just sit and shake your head. I know this kind of dependence first hand as my sister has been on unemployment for over 3 years now... she's a single mom and no one is making her get a job... the system just caters to her. Wouldnt be a problem if she was taking care of the kids but my parents have them and when my poor dad is laidoff (as he is now) he receives LESS than my sister does per week. Absolutely sickening.

ok enough of my ranting.