Monday, March 5, 2012

Discussions I'm Not Ready For

I dropped the babies off this morning with their innocence still intact. I was hoping that when I picked them up today I wouldn’t be put in a position to have a conversation that may take that away. In this city it’s best to stay as naïve as you can to the issues going on around you. Kids have to deal with things around here that even the most mature adult finds difficult to deal with all the time.

A kid was killed behind an abandoned building in Central City Saturday. He was supposed to be headed to tutoring at KIPP Central City Academy. That school shares the building with KIPP Central City Primary. It’s really one big school community. I see those kids all the time. I watched the older kids as they got off the bus this morning. It was hard to tell if they were really upset because they always look aggravated early in the morning. I was hoping they were okay and I knew there was probably counselors in the building. It’s probably not a lot of those kids first experience with having to deal with death of someone so young.

I was having a conversation the other night with a friend and we were comparing our generation with our parents’. We were thinking about all the things they had seen in their lifetime and how even though history makes it seem like the generations before us had to deal with some serious things we’ve had some real issues to deal with too.

It’s hard to explain being a teenager, looking around at guys your age and wondering how many of them wouldn’t be around anymore. Between drugs, violence, and incarceration I feel like we lost some of those years just to have fun and not care about anything. I think there’s a value to being young and staying naïve as long as you can because once you lose that and the adult part kicks in you can’t go in reverse. I’m trying to keep the kids around me as young and innocent for as long as possible.

Thank goodness I didn’t have to start the clock moving forward today. No one mentioned it and I didn’t ask about it. There will be time to explain these things. Hopefully nothing happens to anyone they know to move the timeline up sooner than I expected. When that time comes I hope I don’t have to answer the question of why in the hell we live in a city this crazy to begin with. That’s one of the questions I don’t always have a logical answer for.

Rest in peace Ricky Summers


Neith08 said...

Cliff, I feel you 100%. In the last two weeks two students have passed in the community that are connected to educators I love dearly. The loss of innocence for so many of our children leads to them engaging in adult behavior far too early and adopting adult stresses prematurely as well. And we wonder why they're so angry. They, like adults, are becoming numb to the chaos around them just to cope. But even in their numbness, deep beneath the surface they are in trial...and it's not fair. It pains me so much. All I want them to be is children and we are failing them as adults everyday by not making sure all of them have that chance.

Anonymous said...

It makes me sad that I can't feel comfortable allowing my daughter to have many of the experiences I had growing up like taking the bus by herself or just going to hang out with friends in the neighborhood. No matter if we live in the big city or a small town, madness is all around us these days. I know we can't stop certain things from happening but I rest easier when my baby is close.

- Bliss