issues, on a daily basis, they can take me from a semirational state of
mind to a crazed, wild-eyed woman.
One issue that drives me to absolute insanity is the "gated community
dwellers." For whatever reason, all of my three children befriended
children who live in gated communities. I remember when they were little,
and I was trying to get them to select geographically convenient friends.
I took out their class roster, searching street addresses to see if any
kids in their respective classes live on our street. I used a highlight
pen and told them things like, "Try to become friends with Alan, because
he is around the block from us." Or "I'm sure this year she'll be nicer
than last -- just try, she lives in easy walking distance!"
My error, however, was that I didn't exclude kids with parents who
decided to live behind guard gates, coded fences, and/or huge walls.
In the kindergarten curriculum, students learn about community. They
learn that communities have shared resources, such as libraries, police
and fire stations, schools, etc. How then, to explain what it means to
live in a gated community, where the only shared services tend to be the
plethora of security guards?
Last week, I was getting ready to drive across town to pick up my
8-year-old, who was visiting with his good friend Ben. I called Ben's mom
to let her know I was on my way over, and that I had dinner in the oven
so I couldn't stay to visit. I let her know my ETA was 20 minutes.
When I arrived, I punched her code in to the box at the security gate.
Her voice message said, "We're either on the phone or away from the
phone, so please leave a message." I knew this meant her 16-year-old was
on the phone.
There was no way to get through to their house. I waited, patiently at
first, and kept re-entering the code. No good.
Five minutes went by. Ten minutes. I tried creative problem-solving.
"Maybe I can climb this huge rod iron fence with the spiky tips," I
mused to myself.
I kept calling.
"Maybe I should call the police and have them come break the fence
down," I pondered, as a full 15 minutes elapsed.