Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Kids today

A little while ago, I heard the sound of glass shattering outside of the house. I ran out to see what it was. Four boys, maybe 13 years old, were walking past our house after having just broken a jar on our neighbor's driveway and then another on ours.

Always in the moment and with great presence of mind, I yelled at them. "Hey! You guys come clean this up!"

One of my colleagues at Casa de la Mujer Mapuche during some ritual.

They laughed and kept walking.

Instead of doing the logical thing and following them home and telling their mothers, I just fumed, then yelled that their mothers were doing a fine job raising them and would surely be proud of them for this.

So what I want to know is, when did a grownup yelling at you cease to be a bad thing to a kid? I would have been shaking in my boots to have been caught doing something like that. I still live in fear of Getting Caught, which is why I don't speed (too much). I am always the one who Gets Caught.

When I was in sixth grade, Michelle V (who later told me she couldn't be my friend any more, at least not at school, because I just wasn't cool enough), a classmate of mine from St Elizabeth's Catholic school, convinced me to ride my bike with her to one of the big houses on Slide Road. She told me there was a big house there with a huge lawn and lots of pecan trees and that we could just pick pecans.

A little country church.

Technically, most people would consider this to be stealing.

Technically, most people would be right.

So what happened? We get off our bikes and start to pick pecans off the ground. A few minutes later, a woman came out of the house and asked what we were doing, as if it weren't obvious.

When we could not explain to her satisfaction, she explained for us: we were stealing her pecans.

Then she administered the coup de grace. She told us, with great sorrow in her voice, that she would pray for us.

That ended my career as a thief.

What do I need to say to these boys to end their careers as driveway jar breakers?

Mapuche girl eating raw wine.


MeanMommyDoc said...

Calling the cops and giving them a vivid description may help. I don't know how interested the Tosa cops are in petty vandalism.

John0 Juanderlust said...

You wonder when an adult yelling at jar breakers ceased to have impact? I'd say about the same time that kids figured out they could sue you for hurting their feelings or that they could mess up an adult's life by simply making false accusations. They know you can't touch them.
Forget expecting support from their mothers. 9 times out of 10 their mothers aren't interested, or they would be upset at you. After all their little no conscience thug is being creative. Avoid contact other than pointing a gun or calling the cops.
Verbal interaction will just bring revenge at midnight.

Anonymous said...

Welcome to my world.....as a public high school remedial reading teacher, I deal with a majority of students who behave like this and much worse. These students are SOOOOO disrespectful to the teachers, and our administration offers no consequences, nor do they back us up....but yet the students' poor behavior is our fault because gosh, we must have horrible classroom management skills! 28 teachers at our high school are being cut because of a budget crisis & I am one of them...I am very relieved to be getting out and so is my family. --White Chocolate