Friday, May 13, 2011

The downfall of civilization...

Let me set the scene for you:  

A community in South New Jersey (a suburb of Philly) has a nice street of ~40 year old houses.  Many of the people that live on the street have kids that are grown, so the street has been pretty quiet these last few years.  There are a few families that are younger with kids, but these days you don't often see kids playing outside.

For many years, one family in particular has 3 boisterous, energetic kids whom you can always see playing outside in the sunshine.  Since they were little, one could always hear the laughs and screams of young kids playing.  

They have been the exception, not the rule; as sad as that is to say.  

Finally, relief and happiness for our future when arriving one beautiful Spring afternoon, kids are seen running around and playing, and not just the 3 boisterous ones.  These wonderful kids have someone to run around with!  

Now, I know you are probably wondering how in the world this could be anything about the downfall of civilization, but sadly that part is coming.

So we have about 6-7 kids playing "cops and robbers," which is really just boys vs. girls with the boys hiding and the girls trying to catch them.  They are running around all over the neighborhood, through the yard, and out past the backyards.  

Now this community is backed by a common area which is just a bunch of open area with grass, a few trees, and then past that are more houses in a newer development.

The kids work their way to the back part running between houses (since a lot of the homes do not have fencing) yelling (not obnoxiously) and laughing as they have fun.  One neighbor from the other development decides a few times to yell at these kids PLAYING OUTSIDE to "Stay out of my yard!"  Not nice in any way, just yelling at these kids (which range from 2nd grade to 5th grade).  

Now these kids aren't going near this house, the closest they might get is maybe 20 feet from the back, and a little closer if they run by the side of the house.  This neighbor seems to think that her yard extends all the way back through the common grass area.  No harm is being done by these kids, they could be like the bad older kids in the neighborhood doing who knows what in the open area some nights.  Each time this lady yelled at a kid (it was always a different kid) they would stop running and quietly walk away on a "time out" from the game since they couldn't run anymore.

Finally, a certain someone couldn't take this lady screaming at these kids anymore and decides to intercede on behalf of them.  She yells (just so the person could her since she was a good 100 feet away from the crazy lady) asking "What is so wrong with kids running around and playing?"  

Oh man, no one could be prepared for the onslaught that would follow this simple question!  Not only did this woman start yelling about it being her property (yes, but not the entire grass area) and apparently asking "nicely" twice already was the reason for her yelling.  Hah!  So apparently yelling at kids is being nice about it!  This yelling was followed by an entire onslaught of family that happened to be over that afternoon coming out to the backyard and yelling their thoughts and opinions on the matter.  

Things such as "I heard my Aunt ask them to stay off the lawn!"  "You're the one yelling!"  Yes, I'm the one yelling when there are now 10 grown adults defending the right LOUDLY to yell at little kids for playing on a beautiful Friday afternoon, and so it went on...

The calm neighbor (ok, maybe not so calm anymore but still staying civil about the matter) sticking up for the kids added this point:  "Would you rather them be inside playing video games all day?!?"  They really didn't have an answer to that, but of course they probably don't listen to any logical thinking. 

Obviously, they weren't going to back down from this so the kid backer tried to appease them by saying they would keep the kids from running in their yard as they continued playing, of course this fell on deaf ears.

Now if that doesn't get your blood boiling, then the part which leads to the downfall of civilization will...

The end-all be-all of the matter came when their reasoning for wanting them off the lawn came out: 
"This is our property so if one of the kids gets hurt we would be responsible and you would sue us!"  

Are you kidding me?!  They are running on a mowed open area of grass essentially just chasing each other!  If they fall they will just get back up and keep playing - they are kids after all!  It is people like this that are ruining our country and legal system.  Yes, a person should sue someone if a kid is hurt because you were neglectful while watching them and left them in a knowingly dangerous situation.  But for running on grass that according to you is your property (and most of isn't)?  Complete BS!  

These are the type of people that would sue over something so stupid, I bet they have in the past.  They are probably the same kind of people that want their kid to get a trophy just for participating.  

It is so sad to think that kids can't play these days without people worrying about being sued over something so stupid, not to mention being so possessive over lawn that they don't want cheerful kids running around!

If they are so concerned with kids on their lawn, then I don't know why they don't get a fence?!  Something so simple for people so finicky over trivial matters.  

As the joyful kids and kid-advocate walk back to their yard, these 10 adults watch to make sure they don't come back.  Even 20 minutes later there is at least one adult standing in the backyard to watch that no one goes on their precious lawn!  Man, I am so glad I am not so possessive (and crazy)!  

This kind of thing just makes my blood boil!  Thanks for reading my vent session.  Please feel free to vent here as well!!!

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