Saturday, October 13, 2007

they caught her red-chalk handed

I just had to laugh in uncomfortable disgust after reading an article in NY Daily News about a mother who received a form letter from the city regarding the graffiti her kid posted on their front stoop. DARN YOU DELINQUENT SIX-YEAR-OLDS AND YOUR EVIL CHALK GRAFFITI!!! Yes, that's right, delinquent kindergartners running rampant, tagging their own front stoops with chalk art that gets washed away by the next rain has got to stop! Children creatively expressing themselves through pink, chalky flowers and houses with yellow sunshines smiling upon them...Sheesh! Kids today!! Yeah, take responsibility of your evil corrupt child and do a rain dance, mom!

Okay, it is not the fact that the city sent the "remove graffiti or face fines" letter. That is their response when anyone calls in graffiti to the city's 311 complaint line. It is just standard procedure, an automatic, knee-jerk response. What amazes me is that a neighbor actually called in to 311 to complain about a little kid innocently making sidewalk art with chalk. Ridiculous! It is bad enough that kids grow up too fast and creative arts programs are the first to go with budget cuts, but now a kid cannot be a kid in their own neighborhood. Every time I see some kid art on the sidewalk, it makes me smile. I even enjoy jumping through a hopscotch board every now and then. What kind of a bitty curmudgeon would call in an actual complaint about such an innocent childhood activity? Perhaps they would lighten up if they got a bucket of sidewalk chalk and went nuts with their bad selves on the sidewalk.


marta said...

Oh my god, my son and I would be in so much trouble. We make huge chalk drawings in front of our apartment. And we are rude enough to cover the entire sidewalk so that our neightbors must step on castles, flowers, stars, and random doodles. We are hardened criminals. We must be stopped.

Rick Hamrick said...

It's a sad testament, isn't it, Melissa?

My kids used to color the entire driveway, probably 200 square feet, with whatever crazy stuff they wanted to draw! Even as a high schooler, one daughter would write, in two-foot-high bubble letters, that she RULED. I guess she does, since no one ever contradicted her.

Fortunately, out here in the wild West, we don't have sidewalk-chalk Nazis to discourage such expression!