I grew up in town; downtown Montréal, in Little Burgundy, to be exact. It was rough and tough, no doubt about that. Despite it all, my parents kept a tight leash on me. By the time I moved out a lot of drug dealers had taken over the territory. The neighbourhood changed, like the rest of us I guess.
I then moved to LaSalle. It was fairly quiet. From there I moved to Verdun, also in a fairly quiet area. Then from there I moved to the suburbs, to Pierrefonds, in the West-Island of Montréal. Despite what we might think, it wasn’t all peaceful and such. The street where we lived had on one-side houses and town houses and on the other side apartment buildings. We lived on a corner. Often, people would cut across our yard. If either Hubby or myself were out we would ask them to not walk across. It worked most of the time, but not always. We had to file a complaint with the police because of a few kids who had thrown an empty bottle of vodka, taken from a recycling bin, against the side of our house. That time Hubby went out and followed the kids until he caught up to them and gave them crap. Long story short, the next morning we were awaken by two fathers and a kid, saying that they had heard that there had been a problem. Hubby explained what had happened, the kid apologized and that was the end of it.
When we moved back in town, I thought we might have issues with some homeless guys, since we are not that far for two local shelters for homeless. Turns out I was wrong. There are, across the street from us, apartment buildings. We only found out this winter that they are for low-income families. Since we moved here, we did notice some rambunctious kids, playing hockey in the street and slowly moving out of the way when a car was coming. Those kids had an attitude, and it was not their problem, that’s for sure.
A few weeks ago, as we came home, Hubby noticed that the kids, who were playing hockey, again, in the middle of the street, right in front of our place, were resting against his car, so he went out and told the kid not to lean against his car. At first one of the kids didn’t really move, so Hubby told him abruptly to get the f*uck off his car, so the kid turned around and said “No need to swear”. I was inside, cracking up. The kid was right, but his demeanour was just too cocky. He eventually, very slowly, got off the car. After what Hubby moved it to another street. Last week, I asked a bunch of them to go somewhere else because they were refilling their water bottles at the faucet in front of our basement window. Every time they opened the faucet the earth from the flowerbed splashed up in the windows. They moved, but with such attitude and so slowly to show me that “they” were moving because they wanted to. Those boys are between 8 to 12 years old. Last night they were sitting in our steps, feet covered in mud, which they were scrapping off their shoes onto the steps. Hubby went out and told them to go elsewhere. One of them got up, really slowly, and went down the steps. They were standing on the sidewalk, mouthing crap our way. Hubby came back in. A few minutes later we heard noise on the side of the house, so Hubby went through the garage to see the kids playing in the driveway. So again he told them to go play somewhere else. One of the kids had the balls to say that he lived there, which isn’t the case, so he could play there. I could see that their cockiness was building so I decided to call the cops. I asked to be transferred to the station, since it wasn’t an emergency but we were dealing with a mini street gang that could cause some trouble. By that time, one of the kids threw a rock in our window. Thankfully it didn’t break. I called the cops again, adding to the report, that it was building up. By the time the cops showed (of course!) another kid had thrown a can to our windows, again at the same time Hubby was opening the door. The kid saw him and scattered really fast. Those kids are like roaches when you flick on the light, they disappear!
After chatting with the police officers, who couldn’t do anything because the kids were long gone, they suggested to Hubby to keep calling them when we will see them back in the area. The live across the street!!! We should not hail them because we don't want to become their "target". I think that's advice is a little too late. I couldn’t help to think of those kids, in the West-Island who were a bit older than 13 years old, who decided to break in a house, killed the elderly couple using a baseball bat and stole their car for the “kick” of it! Or that movie I’ve seen, based on a true story that happened in England (can't remember the title of it for the life of me!) about kids who would terrorise people and then killed them for the fun of it. The youngest in that story was like 7 years old!
I don’t know about you, but when I was a kid, whenever an adult would address me I would listen. Just thinking that they could complain to my parents, scared the living day light out of me, because I knew there would be a price to pay. Today’s kids have not idea what discipline is and even less when it comes to respect. I never even thought of playing on a neighbour’s lawn. I would sit on their steps only if a friend of mine lived there and if I was there with her. I knew what was ours and what wasn’t. I guess I knew what respecting others meant. I only knew what fear was.
It saddens me to see this. That’s our future… now that’s one scary thought, isn’t it?