Taking a short walk earlier this very morning, I happened to glance between two houses to see another house, and the sight reminded me of something sad.
A couple weeks ago when Jedd and I rode our bikes past that same house, he commented,
“That’s Crystal’s dad’s house.”
Instantly I thought, “That’s sad for 5-year-old Crystal. Her dad has a different house from her mom.” (Obviously, this happens a lot in our world, but it’s still sad for a child and for all concerned.)
Then it got worse. Jedd followed up by saying,
“Well, her dad goes there a lot, anyway.”
And I realized that what he meant was that Crystal’s dad is probably sort-of half-living-with a woman that is not his wife. I suspect he goes there—to the woman’s house—more than he goes to see Crystal. These things, too, make me sad for the little girl.
And then I remembered that I’d heard Crystal herself say, only a couple weeks before that,
“My mom has gone to jail three times in a row!”
Crystal (not her real name) lives with her grandparents. I gather that she has lived there for half her life or more. This presumably started because neither of Crystal’s biological parents is fit to raise her. One of them is probably addicted to illegal drugs. Crystal’s grandparents give her food and shelter. In fact, they give those things to two other grandkids, too (from other parents). And two more sets of grandkids seem to be at the grandparents’ house more than at their own houses. One set walks a few blocks in the dark, well before 7:00 every school day, to be fed breakfast and go to the bus stop near the grandparents’ house. The grandparents are not very capable of giving a lot more than food and shelter, but they do what they can.
Crystal is growing up in a very broken life. We are all broken, and aspects of every life manifest the broken condition of humankind. I think what Crystal must endure as a young child is cause for great sadness.