Saturday, September 22, 2012

Hapkido and Misfit Children

So, even though we absolutely cannot afford it, we've enrolled our boy in Hapkido.  He did a few years of martial arts when younger, and he was really quite taken with it.  This is three nights a week, and I'm pleased with the lack of edge and attitude from the Master/Sensei.  I'm not getting the "badass" vibe you often get off martial arts places.  That's good--we're not after badass.  We're after self-confidence, improved concentration, and an ability to effectively defend himself.  That there are four or five other teens in Hapkido is good, too.

Speaking of self-defense, it would appear that all the friendships on the street are over for him.  The one household that still had much to do with him (though he was the "friend of last resort") has become suspect.  DJ, the younger of the two boys, has taken to spending all his free time with the animal-killing, lie-telling, thieving kids across the street.  You know, the ones not permitted in our house because they steal and tell big, whopper, dangerous lies?  He only comes to our door in their presence now--always late/after dark, and always asking if our boy can come outside to "hang out."  That child has NEVER asked if Sean can come out--he's always come here and asked to come IN so they can play video games or Nerf.  But suddenly he wants Sean outside in the presence of the rat kids and Armen.  No way.  Our boy feels certain it's a trap, and I agree--they've gotten bold enough that they stand down the street and chant his name, ridiculing and hassling him.  I think they're looking to get him outside and alone in the dark and possibly do him harm.

Oh, and speaking of the rat kids, the cops were on the street last night.  Four cop cars, all in front of their house.  After a few minutes, they went to the end of the circle and parked in front of DJ's house.  We're thinking maybe Armen is in trouble--after all, he's already got a record at 13 years old, he and the rat kids are bad for being out and about at 1 am, his parents and all older siblings are drug addicts (and his mother's a prostitute, to boot), and he's the only kid around here who hangs out at both the rat kids's and DJ's.  Can't be sure, but if it turned out he'd gotten up to something awful, no one here would be surprised. 

And one more "speaking of"--speaking of getting up to something awful, I think we're going to have to install a security camera outside.  We feel pretty sure that, if we put up our extensive Halloween decorations, those kids will tear them to bits.  They're just that type.  So, if we can't afford the camera (I found a good one for $160), we're going to have to wait and put up our decorations on Halloween night.  Which is sad.  But the alternative is having our stuff bashed to hell by the neighborhood rats. 


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