We definitely live on a less savory side of town. A few blocks either way, and we’re in a little bit crustier surroundings than we’d like to expect. Fights heard through open windows are raspier and more public, lawn “care” is a word used much more loosely, dogs look a little more menacing, eff-bombs are dropped at a higher frequency, homes are marred by more broken windows and passing faces look slightly more hardened. Sometimes the only thing that’s the same as the manicured lot is the smell of fabric softener coming from the basements.
When a rock was thrown through a neighbor’s window last year, just for entertainment, even my husband commented that we need to get out of here. We generally feel safe with the presence of our pit bull, but I’m not sure how I’d feel without him. Walking the baby in his buggy at twilight is not as frothy as it sounds in these parts. You bring along your cell phone and rough-looking dog and throw your shoulders back as special unwritten signage that you won’t be messed with.
Protecting my kid is the basis of nearly every single decision or act I make on a daily basis. When the tornado sirens went off last night, the only thing I wanted to do was teleport my son somewhere with blue skies, whether I was left behind or not. It’s funny these silly ways that parenthood changes you.