Thursday, January 05, 2006

I Left My Herd in San Francisco

As much as I like to ridicule those who live their lives on the Left Coast, boasting that nothing people do out there could ever again surprise me ... this story from just outside of San Francisco shocks even me:
A married couple who got a dog sitter for their puppies but left the man's young children home alone while they vacationed in Las Vegas were arrested Wednesday, police said.
The couple apparently told 9-year-old Joshua to look after his 5-year-brother, Jason, who is autistic. The children spent one night alone before police found them.
With two of our own kids in fairly close proximity to those ages, I know that we would never even consider leaving them alone to care for themselves, not even for a night -- much less for five days and nights. And that is without the severe handicaps of autism thrown into the mix. (Although, for the record, I consider ages 5 thru 10 a form of mental retardation in and of itself...)

And in case the circumstances of this story are not enough to break your heart, this is the comment from the nine-year-old man of the house:
Joshua said his father and stepmother got each other puppies for Christmas, which they brought to De La Vega's mother to care for before leaving town.

"I thought they loved them more than us," Joshua told The Associated Press during an interview at his maternal grandmother's apartment.
To his credit, young Joshua apparently handled the situation very well. But this couple had better be thankful they live in a state of judicial leniency (bear in mind the cases of OJ Simpson and Michael Jackson). In the Lone Star State, they would be hard pressed to find a jury that would not ship them off to Huntsville and then throw away the key.


Anonymous Mike said...

I consider ages 5 thru 10 a form of mental retardation in and of itself...

Hee hee! I have one 5 year old and one 7 year old. For smart kids they sure frustrate me at times. Of course leaving them without supervision is waaaayyyy out of the question. It makes you wonder why people like those even have kids. One thing I quickly noticed about being a parent is that it's hard to be a good one if you're selfish.

1/06/2006 8:11 AM  

Blogger Songbird said...

Sometimes it's hard to be a good parent (and you can substitue husband, wife, or any other family member) even if you devote yourself fulltime and 100% to the job. I just cannot fathom how people like this can call themselves parents, or as you said why they ever had kids in the first place. Our kids range from elementary school up to one in high school (I would make another crack here about mental problems, but I can still remember my own teenage days -- Pops would definitely call me on it!), and I have to admit there are times I wonder why we ever had kids. But to be truthful, I wouldn't change a thing. They are worth every tear, every heartbreak, and definitely all the laughter! :->

1/06/2006 8:43 AM  

Anonymous barfkitty said...

Ah, the joys of parenthood. Mine are 4, 2 and -3 months (the due date the doctor predicted is Tax Day, 2006!) I can't imagine ever leaving them over night with ANYONE (with the exeption of my Mom, who lives just a few blocks away and babysits on a regular basis.) No way would I ever leave my kids unsuporvised!

1/06/2006 9:06 AM  

Blogger Pops said...

Now don't you go talking about my precious grandkids like that or I'll tell your momma on you! If you want to talk about "mental problems," I could share a story or two about your escapades as a youngster. ;-)


1/06/2006 9:27 AM  

Blogger Pops said...

Miss Kitty, congratulations on your impending (re-)motherhood! What a wonderful joy and a blessing children are; and just wait until they get old enough to get out on their own and supply you with grandchildren! You never knew fun until you get to hug and cherish and spoil your very own grandkids. (And then send them back home to their mom and dad!) :-)

1/06/2006 9:35 AM  

Blogger Reeclm said...

As heartbreaking as it is, the older kid is probably right that the parents do love the puppies more than him. Can you imagine? Do these "people" (I can't call them parents) have a clue?

I just read the whole story and it is even more heartbreaking than I thought: their mother died in 2003. The maternal grandmother called the authorities; she suspected the dad and stepmom had left these kids alone. I just hope this grandmother gets full custody of these kids.

As to your other comment about "ages 5 thru 10 a form of mental retardation in and of itself", I am right there with you! My kids are 13,9 and 5; the 13 year old has her own form of, well, "mental difficiencis" related to age and maturity and the general overall teenage belief that parents are on Earth to kill their fun. Don't get me wrong, she is a great kid, but there are moments.......

1/06/2006 11:18 AM  

Anonymous Mike said...

I of course never went through any of the mental deficiencies of being a teenager. That's my story and I'm sticking to it (since my parents don't know about this site to say otherwise).


Truly though, I wouldn't trade the tears, heartbreak and laughter of children for all the money in the world.

1/06/2006 1:54 PM  

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