Thursday, June 5, 2008

THAT Neighbor.

There are some 12-13 year old boys that are all fairly new to my neighborhood. Recently I've seen them all playing together and generally being good, though perhaps a bit mischievious. Nothing too harmful, until I noticed them start playing on the roof of the house across the street. (Where one of them resides)

I debated about whether to say something, or more specifically how to say it to the parents. I just don't want to see any of them get hurt, and I'd want to know. I haven't actually been home when the parents of two of the boys are, and the third lives a few streets over...I'm not sure where.

I had been contemplating a note (though I wondered about it being intercepted) when I ran into two of the boys at the store yesterday. They were polite, respectful and came up to me to say hi. I realized after the fact that I missed an opportunity. (Darn it!)

So today I went out to my car and saw all three boys playing on the roof. I wanted it to stop right away and I couldn't tell their parent right away because they weren't home, but darn it I didn't want to hear a scream a bit later and find out someone had gotten hurt either.

I yelled over (in as much as I could yell, my voice is almost gone) for the boys to come here for a minute, I needed their help.

They all three got down and came over, which I think speaks to the fact they are generally good boys. When they came over I had a moment of panic because there was nothing that would require them to actually listen to me, and I even briefly wondered if my car was going to see some eggs in the future. No matter, I carried on.

"Gentlemen, I really need your help."

All eyes were on me. I could see the gears turning.

"I've seen you playing on the roof."

Cue the "oh shit" looks.

"It's not acceptable and you know it, that's why it needs to stop now. I'm not the only one keeping an eye out in the neighborhood, and the next person to see one of you up on the roof is going to tell ALL of your parents. Got it?"

Solemn nods all around.

"Are you going to stay off the roof?"


"I don't want anyone getting hurt because they fell off or because their parents found out there were up there in the first place, so keep your word."

Then I asked them to help take some cookies off my hands.

They'll either love me or hate me, but I'll keep my word as long as they keep theirs. If I see them up there again, I'll let all the parents know. As a mom, I 'd want to know the first time, but this seemed a way to warn them without getting anyone in trouble and hopefully get them to stop.

Maybe I'm just incredibly naive, but it seemed worth a shot.


Claire said...

I think you handled that really well. Hopefully they'll listen and won't play up there anymore.

Cookies were a nice touch ;).

megan said...

I once looked out the window of an apartment I lived in and saw a bunch of kids climbing a bean silo (I live in rural Ontario). A silo can be over 6 stories high and this one is as well. So I called the police. I was not about to try and intervene, I would have to climb up there myself to do so. Good work, you may have saved a kid from a broken neck and the parents who live in the house from being sued.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Claire.

And, the cookies were a GREAT idea to soften it all.

And, thank you. I'm sure one day it'll be *MY* kid on the dang roof (again). I'd be grateful to know that someone was looking out for the boogers.