We live near a middle school, which despite the potential for problems, hasn’t been an issue. It means that you just don’t do certain things, like leave temptingly breakable items near the sidewalk. Pumpkins, old windows, bubble-wrap – you get the idea – just simple things to avoid. Overall, its a nice feature of the neighborhood. We have access to a playground, baseball diamond and basketball court. It also means we see the idiosyncrasies of being a child, like getting dropped off by parents 1 block from the school.
One thing I’ve noticed before is the groups of students waiting after school for parents to arrive. They’re usually clumped about, having fun, and usually playfully talking smack. Tonight I was walking home late and was surprised to see that there were still kids hanging out, some just walking home, even though it was after 8 p.m. It’s frightening to think that kids are still waiting that late, and I suppose a sad testament to life these days. The defense mechanism it must take to just hover for hours after school cannot make for a productive learning attitude, and just makes for rough childhood. At least they have a really big map of the U.S. to play on.