An Open Letter to My Neighbor that Screams at Her Sons

 

I hear you. The whole floor hears you. I’m sure those two small boys were unruly, wouldn’t put their toys away and yelled back at you. I just can’t take it anymore. I won’t let my son near the door when you are yelling profanities. I want you to know that I’ve been mad. I get it. I know how exhausted you are. Being a single parent is the hardest job in the world. There is nobody to rely on to do the dishes when you just don’t have the strength to do any more. There is nobody to get two tired boys ready for daycare while making yourself look presentable. There is nowhere to run when the stress is just too much. I know that you don’t think anybody understands the weight on your shoulders and the bags under your eyes, but I do, and I just can’t listen to the screaming any more. We have a job as parents. Our job is to teach our children the purpose of life; teach them respect, kindness, patience, manners, honour, forgiveness and compassion. Most importantly, teach them love.

What are your words teaching your children? What are they teaching mine when I can’t shield him from the bellows from the door across the hall? We have another obligation as parents: teach our children community. It is really easy for me to sit here high and mighty from across the hall and judge you when I’ve had a village help me with my son. I know that if I need help I can reach out to my neighbours, my family and my friends. Do you have someone to reach to? You will. Today I am going to pin a Starbucks gift card and a note on your door to let you know that you can knock when you need a break. There is no catch; no judgement when you knock on my door. Maybe you just need to unwind and get your feet back under you. That’s okay. Maybe you need to run and scream outside. That’s okay too. I’ve been there. By the grace of God I make it through each day, and by the grace of God I know you can too because whether we want to be teaching our children with our words and our actions or not, we are.

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