If you click on over to my page titled “Submit Ideas For Future Musings” you will see that reader Kip submitted several interesting and thought provoking topics for consideration. All of them are good but after some thought, I’m choosing his last one, which I wonder if he suggested because he might have Google Earthed me or something and found out something he thought I didn’t already know. Anyway, the topic for this reader submitted post idea is:
How about the Wild Mind’s response to a known sex offender moving in just a couple doors away from where she and her four children live?
Here’s my response: Big Fucking Deal.
Now, before y’all go gettin’ sideways on me and accusin’ me of being the worst candidate for Mother of the Year, let me explain. If you Google earth me, the house you come up with will not be mine. Sorry, I’ve tried it. Many folks have tried it. You get the wrong house every time. So, let me say this. I do have a convicted sex offender living in my neighborhood, closer to me than I’m going to reveal, for his protection in spite of the fact that Google Earth has our locations off.
Let me also say this. I found this out because he and his wife (he never goes anywhere in the neighborhood without his wife) showed up on my doorstep a month or two after I moved in and told me the whole long sad story. He is truly a convicted sex offender and earned the label.
Let me further say…he is the best neighbor I have. I would go so far as to say he is the best neighbor anyone could have.
I’ve lived in my home for 5 years now. The man has never done anything inappropriate. He goes to work, comes home, drives up into his garage, the door closese securely behind him and he goes into his house from the garage. He interacts with neighbors when necessary and is always appropriate in his demeanor and distance. He lives with shame of choices in his past that keep him harbored away in his home with minimal contact with the outside world. He’s a homeowner, not a renter, and for someone with a prison record that’s quite an accomplishment. He has two children and a wife and they’ve tried to give their children the most normal stable childhood they can, in spite of the laws of my area that say every single person must be notified of the residences of convicted sex offenders. This notification occurs by the local police force showing up on one’s doorstep each year with a flyer with the person’s picture plastered prominently on it.
This man is the neighbor who walks boldly up to strangers in cars who do not live in the area, asks what they are doing there, then gets their license plate numbers. This is the neighbor who if I need help carrying in the big TV I bought three years ago came over to help me (wife was with him, of course). This is the neighbor who helped me gather wood this summer. This is the neighbor I can rely on to watch my back should strange people be hanging around my place. This is the neighbor I make sure I inform that I am going to be out of town so he can be on the look out for anything awry. I do the same for them when they are out of town. This is the neighbor who’s kids come over swim in my pool and play with my kids. His wife comes over and gives me hand me down close for my youngest all the time. This is the neighbor, and the only neighbor I might add, that if I really needed help would be there for me.
My kids know the score. They never go over there alone, nor would he want them too. He is all about changing his life and living right, even though he knows he has to deal with the consequences. He doesn’t complain. He realizes that he’s earned all the treatment he receives. He only regrets what this means for his children and the shadow of shame and humiliation they have endured because of his folly. This is where our system in its great attempt to keep people informed and criminals in check goes wrong.
He’s lived in this neighborhood longer than I. He didn’t move in after I was here. He’s been completely honest with me about his past and the public records validate this. He and his family were the first and only ones to greet me in this neighborhood when I moved in , they continue to be one of only two households who are even remotely friendly to me. If anyone has ever earned the clean slate treatment this man has. And if I ever move from this neighborhood, he and his family will be the neighbors I miss most.