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I'm just back from my high school reunion and a week's vacation. I took the K's to a nearby playground yesterday, and tonite's diary is the result.  Follow me below the dingledoodlesquiggliedKosagnocchidividerthingie fold after a word from our sponsor...

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The playground is at K2's elementary school, and adjacent to the playground and field is a Garden. It is explicitly there as a resource for both the school kids and the local community, and it's been a labor of love for those volunteers who take care of it. As we were approaching I sent K2 off to the swings and smiled to see two kids in the garden... then frowned as I saw them take an armful of vegetables, leave the garden, and start throwing them against the far wall of the school where kids play ball.

I stood there stunned. I looked around but the three parents in the playground at the other end of the parking lot were oblivious. I recognized one of the kids, and thought about taking pictures. Then I decided on a more immediate, direct approach.

I started walking to them as they continued to bash tomatoes and squash against the wall, laughing. As soon as they saw me they stopped, and started making for their bicycles. I got between them and they stopped.   I looked them each in the eye and quietly asked if it made them feel good to destroy what others worked all summer to grow. In a move that I can only hope led to an interesting talk between them, the one still holding a tomato looked at his emptyhanded friend and said "It was him who threw them." Ignoring the child clearly Left Behind, I pointedly gazed at his hands, back at him, and said "so you were going to do what with those?" I then looked at the other and said "You know I know your parents" which wiped his face blank.

I asked again if it made them feel good to destroy what wasn't theirs. I've got to assume they're from Traditional Republican Households, because they both said "But it's a public garden." I asked if it made it any better to waste the time money and work people put into growing food by splattering it against the wall, and if their parents would be proud to know what they'd done. That I was disgusted and that they both were behaving like rude, thoughtless bullies.

The two boys were young enough (late elem school) to be embarrassed, and with much shuffling of the feet the one who tried to sell out his friend said "Should we clean it up?" I replied that would be a very good idea, and that they should get outta there before I called their parents. Within 5 minutes the ruined food was in the trashcan and the kids were gone.

Several things of note afterward:

(1) A parent heard me explaining to K1 what had happened, so I told him. His response stunned me nearly as much as the kids' actions: "Eh, well, kids do that."  Umm, WTF???! I can only assume he's voting for Candidate BoysWillBeBoys Rmoney.

(2) I told K2 what happened, and he was horrified. "That's mean, they were bad to do that." As we walked home, I saw the two boys riding up ahead and pointed them out... and K2 said "Oh I know that kid. He's mean and gets in trouble a lot." It led to a long discussion about kids and actions and consequences.

I'd like to think that my intervention will have some positive longterm effect on those two boys. At the very least, that people DO watch and DO speak up. I hope they felt guilty when they sat down to dinner at their houses and, just maybe, had salad. I hope that every morning when they line up for school, and I bring K2, that they look at me and remember that someone knows what they did. And I know that if I see either of them in that garden doing anything other than weeding or taking pictures I will in fact contact their parents.

I'd also like to think that if more of us spoke up (keeping our own personal safety in mind, of course, which in some situations dictates NOT getting involved directly) that it would make a difference in the way a generation learns to treat one another's bodies, emotions, and possessions.

What would you have done? What have you done when the opportunity to speak up came?

Brillig's ObDisclaimer: The decision to publish each nomination lies with the evening's Diarist and/or Comment Formatter. My evenings at the helm, I try reeeeallllyy hard to publish everything without regard to content. I really do, even when I disagree personally with any given nomination. "TopCommentness" lies in the eyes of the nominator and of you, the reader - I leave the decision to you. I do not publish self-nominations (ie your own comments) and if I ruled the world, we'd all build community, supporting and uplifting instead of tearing our fellow Kossacks down.
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Top Mojo for yesterday, August 20th, first comments and tip jars excluded. Thank you mik for the mojo magic!
  1) Never too late! by spiraldancer8 — 260
  2) Funny, I do the opposite. by Eileen B — 190
  3) Watched the presser..................​........ by Lying eyes — 154
  4) See that folks?  Sanity in Leadership in Action. by TarantinoDork — 151
  5) Many have taken your path--> by Redfire — 145
  6) It is getting slammed by more than by jsfox — 124
  7) I've been there... by Jane Lew — 119
  8) Changed sig... by RichM — 118
  9) No exaggeration:  Obama's by Penman — 106
10) My father in law by radical simplicity — 106
11) It has taken me all day to tell by Vetwife — 105
12) I agree.  He has a sense of decency that by TomP — 100
13) They want him out because his statements by middleagedhousewife — 97
14) How can they tell when the Tea Party has gone by pucklady — 91
15) It's been a challenge... by limousineliberal — 92
16) Good for her. by Bugsydarlin — 90
17) What an awful ordeal by NearlyNormal — 84
18) i'm glad you've come around by Laurence Lewis — 83
19) Exactly!! by Onomastic — 83
20) it's not too late (yet) by chingchongchinaman — 82
21) OMG. How many women do NOT enjoy sex by merrywidow — 79
22) I'm sure Huckabee is on the phone setting up by jethrock — 78
23) It was an excellent response by Joan McCarter — 77
24) I'm waiting for by BroadwayBaby1 — 76
25) Rape is rape by LSophia — 75
26) Another day lost for Romney. by NCJim — 75
27) Interesting that President Obama's religion by voracious — 74
28) Sad. You might point them to the 1956 GOP by mdmslle — 73
29) PPP has a snap poll out by newdem1960 — 73
30) You are a courageous woman by Shawn Russell — 73

Top Pictures for yesterday, August 20th.  Click any image to be taken to the full comment. Thank you jotter for the image magic!

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