Keep ’em close

Finally got my daughter back into her swim lessons at a local YMCA. We took a few months off because I was exhausted from my pregnancy and then I had to recoup from delivery, but now we’re back at it until the summer. 

Last week I struck up a conversation with a woman at the lessons that was there with her godchildren. We discussed how far the children have come in their lessons and how great the staff are at the Y. Some how we got on the subject of what was happening in the city with poverty, violence, and schools. 

I told the woman how I now understand why my mother raised me the way she did. I grew up in South Philly, not far from center city. When we first moved to my neighborhood I remember not being able to go to the local recreation center, Marian Anderson, due to the violence that took place. Recreation centers are supposed to be places where children can go to have fun, learn, and be among their peers, but that wasn’t the case. 

I remember asking my mom if I could go over to the park with friends and she would always say, “Yeah if I go with you.” I would think to myself, now why would I want to do that? Now that I am older, somewhat wiser, and a parent, I can completely understand her logic. She wanted to protect me from this cold world we live in. 

 I hate the fact that we live in such violent times, it almost seems much worse then the 90’s when I grew up. Everyday I turn on the news to hear horrible cases of shootouts, stray bullets, and children with guns. When will enough be enough? What does it take for people to realize that we are all bleed? 

As parents, it is our job to protect our children. I would even venture to say ALL children, but given the way today’s youth are raised if you say the wrong thing to them or look at them the wrong way it could be a problem. Everyone has heard the saying, “It takes a village to raise a child,” but most of us don’t act on this. Shoot, I’m guilty of this at times. 

We must cast aside our differences for the sake of the children.