Sometimes as a working father, I miss some of the politics that occur within our neighborhood while I'm away. However, while we're out front in the evenings and weekends, I get to see all the goings on of our little piece of America. We have around ten children of varying ages in our court. There are five that are around the same age, and all of them are girls. The stereotype can sometimes be justified in that 4 of the 5 are very type A personalities. We've found equilibrium amongst each other as neighbors, and trust each other's judgement for the basics of keeping children out of danger, from coming to blows, setting each other's hair on fire, and the like.
We've noticed that one young girls in particular, is kind of out on her own most of the time. Her mother is a student, works full-time, and doesn't seem to have much patience with having a child. The father is a stay-at-home-dad that does very little. The sweet young girl goes to school with messy hair, clothes worn day in a row, and so on. Both parents take immaculate care of themselves, but little is done for their daughter outside the basics. For whatever the reason, these are some of the things that we've seen as her neighborhood group.
One of The Wife's new friends is a neighbor who lives next door to the girl in question. The two women have more or less taken on the role within the "it takes a village" saying. Both of our households have fed her when she's skipped meal. Both women have taken turns doing her hair during summer mornings and already this school year. They've encouraged good behavior, gave praise where it was deserved as well as needed, and so on. Both remember having heard stories of children growing up to be wonderful adults, only to have them look back and thank a family other than their own for showing them the right way. I see that in the way these ladies give unconditional love for one that is not their own. The patience and kindness are aimed solely at the child. In their eyes, the young girl doesn't deserve to be ignored the way she appears to be, and have done everything they can thus far to step in and offer help.
Everyone has their own set of circumstances. We try to remain respectful while keeping an eye on everyone's safety. The experience has shown the true colors of some wonderful women and it teaches me daily to live a life of love and positivity.