We went to the Evansville State Hospital grounds. We didn't mean to go there. We had errands, and Truman was begging to play at a park. The nearest one, one we've frequented with friends, was bare of children but had two very shady looking grown men sitting at a picnic table together. In the middle of a weekday. Yeah. Up to no good. I didn't feel good about going there. The kids were kind of angry with me, but only because they are completely sheltered and really can't grasp the idea of drunks, drug deals, or general thievery. So the nearest alternative was the State Hospital grounds, which is a gigantic meadow with a pond or two and loads of ducks. It was chilly, which was nice for me since it meant the kids only wanted to play for a short time.
Sometimes, a lot lately it seems, I get frustrated with my children because they seem to be ungrateful for their fabulous lives. I am not sure how to make them appreciate the safety and security they enjoy without putting them into danger to prove my point. Obviously I don't want to drop them off on a street corner in the ghetto in the middle of the night and make them fend for themselves (no, really, I do not entertain those thoughts...), but I do wish they could understand how other children's lives are. I wish they could see children whose parents do not show love to them, children who have to spend 10 hours per day in the care of relative strangers and crowded into classes with twenty other preschool age children. They don't understand that most other children are awakened each day by a parent or alarm clock, in order to arrive at school on someone else's timetable, not based on their own body's natural rhythm. They have no idea that other children are rushed through breakfast in order to beat a deadline out the door, while they are languishing over second and third breakfast choices and stopping to build a fire engine before finally (finally!) heading upstairs to get dressed. I just wish they could know how great they have it so they'd feel more gratitude. Which, of course, makes it my problem, not theirs, to teach them gratitude.