It’s official. Send me to the home, give me my dentures and an over-sized cardigan, and let me watch my stories on the TV. There used to be a time when I could care less what little kids were doing, riding bikes or shooting up heroin. They’re not mine, and I’m not responsible for them.
But that’s changed. When we moved to our neighborhood seven years ago, we left behind a neighbor who had crammed her five kids into a tiny three bedroom townhouse. They were all ranging in age from less than a year to 16, and they were simply awful. From the teenage girls blasting their stereo at full volume to the adolescent boys climbing out onto the roof and peeping into our bedroom windows, it was hell. I couldn’t wait to get out of there!
Moving into our quiet neighborhood, where all the kids were tiny babies who stayed in their houses, we lived peacefully at the end of our quiet, dead-end street. It was a major upgrade. We hadn’t planned on living here that long. Our move here was “two years tops” by all projections. But the state of Delaware has this Hotel California like grip on people who live here and we’re looking down the barrel of eight years strong.
The tiny babies have grown up into right foul monsters in their own right. The worst offenders, we thought, lived another street over and used our yard as a thoroughfare. The first rain of spring last year, they took their bikes back and forth so often that long tire marks tore up the grass and ruined the pristine lawn my husband worked so hard to build.
The present issue is the neighbor’s basketball net. The son never uses it, but the other kids on the street often are playing as we arrive home from work. As I make dinner, I can often see the ball bouncing off the windshield of our vehicles. My blood boils. I’ve asked the neighbor if I can buy it from him, simply to dismantle it. We’ll see what happens, but if something doesn’t give, I’ll be out there on the porch in my robe and slippers, shaking a fist at the whippersnappers to get off my lawn.