Friday, March 18, 2005

Ghetto Hoop From Hell.

So, on to today’s trauma.

I already mentioned that a kid down the street, D.C. we’ll call him, had a basketball hoop put up in the vacant parking lot across the street. Since the Jasmin Family lives in the ghetto, The Boy has not traditionally been allowed to play outside very often, and I have no real desire to change that tradition. But he’s obsessed with basketball right now, and really is missing his momma, so I’m prone to giving in a little more than usual on things just to keep him occupied.

After the usual fight over getting him to do his chores and homework, which was almost as unusually bad today as it was yesterday (I hate this damn basketball hoop), he begged me to go out and shoot hoops. I decided to let him for a while, and went out to watch because I don’t like the neighborhood and I didn’t recognize most of the people already out there.

Mercifully, some older cousins of D.C. were monopolizing the hoop, so D.C. and The Boy gave up and started playing football farther up the alley, closer to the house. Suddenly, I heard people yelling obscenities, and somebody screaming for somebody else to call the police. I grabbed The Boy and gave him a shove toward the house and, for once, he actually listened to me the first time and ran in the house.

D.C’s dad and another guy, and I still can’t figure out if he was his uncle or his step-dad, were in a fist fight in the parking lot. Supposedly D.C.’s dad had been hitting on D.C.’s mom’s roommate, who was either a relative or significant other of the uncle/step-dad. D.C.’s mom got in the way, and got hit a couple of times.

D.C. took off running, and I chased after because I didn’t want him freaking out/watching his mom/dad/uncle/step-dad get beat in front of the whole neighborhood/getting in the middle of it and getting hurt. I found him behind an abandoned car, shaking and crying, and saying that he couldn’t believe this was happening. I took him to The Boy’s house and promised he could stay as long as he wanted or needed, and went outside to find some non-fighting member of his family to let them know where he went.

D.C. calmed down as soon as he wasn’t watching them fight. It was almost disturbing to me because when my parents got physically violent like that when I was a kid, and it was extremely rare that they did, I was terrified by it. He must have seen it an awful lot, because it hardly phased him. He was playing with The Boy and having an altogether fine time as I watched his mother get loaded into a police car.

I told D.C. he could stay at The Boy’s house, and his little sister/cousins too if they needed, as long as they wanted. He nonchalantly thanked me and said they might need that since his mom was in jail, and his dad didn’t live there and would probably be going to jail anyway in a little while when the cops figured out what happened. He went home at 6:30, amidst cries from The Boy that he wanted to go and play basketball again.

This basketball hoop is already a pain in my ass. It brings the whole bad neighborhood out into one convenient location, where they can fight and swear and drink and etcetera that I don’t want The Boy around. And all The Boy wants to do is play basketball. And I would really love to let him, except for the whole cops having to be called after only two days of the damn hoop even existing thing.

The Boy’s birthday is this weekend, so his parents won’t have to deal the hoop very much since they’re planning a trip out of town for him. This is irritating because it prevents the formation of a No-Ghetto-Hoop policy that I can enforce without The Boy hating me and fussing every day about how I’m not even his mom.

Monday I will have to deal with the hoop again. I’m hoping he’ll be a brat and I’ll be able to ground him and just deal with that fussing instead of spending the whole night out guarding the friendly neighborhood Ghetto-Hoop and probably eventually getting my ass kicked/car vandalized for constantly reminding the other boys not to swear/fight/break stuff that doesn’t belong to them or re-rescue D.C. as his family brawls in the street.

Hopefully this week, we’ll keep very busy indeed. I’d already planned on taking him to a movie on Tuesday, and we will hopefully get to spend Wednesday, Thursday and Friday down in Columbus with his mom for Spring Break. The farther away I am from the accursed hoop, the happier I’ll be.