Monday, August 17, 2009

Babies for Sale?

I was on my way taking hubby to work on Tuesday (due to the economy we are down a car:) and we were joyously having a nice discussion (not about toilet paper) on our way to Buckhead by way of Bolton Rd in Atlanta. I heard him say, "OMG," I looked over and couldn't believe what I was seeing. Two babies in their car seats on top an ole' Sanford and Son pickup (after the McDonald's incident I carry my camera for my Sanity)! I thought for sure I was going to see a sign that said "Babies for Sale!" My husband trying to find a balance says, "There is a power washer out front, there is a man sitting in the pick up, guess he is going to do some work?" I was absolutely livid! In my mind there was noooo explanation that would suffice; even as strange as Bolton Rd is this was unacceptable!
First, let me explain Bolton Rd, it is an odd stretch of a street, it goes from being very distressed (fancy name for ghetto see photo on left) to enormously wealthy (fancy name for filthy rich see photo on right). Bolton Rd takes you straight into Buckhead and for those of you that don't know Buckhead is like the Beverly Hills of Georgia. Bolton Rd magically changes, it goes through it's own metamorphosis, like your driving through some kind of worm hole from one reality to another in less than a mile. First you see the poor people walking up and down the streets (regardless of race) and with a blink of an eye they turn it to rich people jogging through the streets (regardless of race) all on the same stretch of road in less than 3 minutes. OK, back to the babies, I drop hubby off and race back down the street hoping to get a closer picture thinking about whether to call Family Service's. This is what I captured (see babies on left)!
It was difficult for me to get this picture, I wanted a better one, so I made a u-turn and got stuck at a light. I couldn't see the babies from this position all I could see was the father, I would need to turn around and get my shot from the other side of the street. I felt like one of those lunatic stalking paparazzi people! As I'm sitting at the light fuming that this man, this human being, would leave his babies on top of his dilapidated pickup, all I kept thinking about was what if they fall off, get hurt, where was the mom, why are these kids sitting out in the sun on top this truck, he must be on massive drugs??? I was about to take a picture of Dad and call the police but, I stopped, I watched him diligently working at his job, I put my camera and my anger down! He was power washing this home, cutting the grass, painting small areas on the porch and babysitting! Constantly he was running over to check on his babies, watching them at every turn, while he worked hard to feed them! I stopped passing my judgment and realized that this guy is doing the best he can! Due to the economy those of us that work for ourselves or a company have lost our jobs and been forced to, "By any means Necessary," take on any job they can find and do the best they can for their family.
For example, a couple of weeks ago as I was talking to the really nice Repo man, who at 4 in the morning was taking away our hefty $600.00 a month 2008 pick-up, (that I told hubby not to buy last year) he shared with us his own story. He told us how he lost his construction business of 20 years, his home, his cars, filed bankruptcy, got Medicaid, even got Food Stamps from the government and took his current job as the Repo man just to feed his family! I felt a sort of kindred spirit with this man as I happily walked back into my home waving bye-bye to the stress of my own enormous debt!
Note: Hubby is looking for something workable and more affordable (under 10k) as we speak and I'm very proud of him:)

The next day as I was joyfully taking hubby (loving one car with one gas tank:) to work on my favorite street Bolton Rd, that same guy was working on that same house and on this day the babies were not on the truck! Dad was hustling just as hard at 7:30 in the morning!

Soooooo, what are your thoughts on the babies, passing judgment, the economy, the Repo man or Bolton Rd?:)

27 comments:

One Sassy Girl said...

Oh Ms. Wanda, I'm just like you. I'd have been circling to snatch an incriminating photo, too. But also like you, I've felt this recession all the way in the soles of my Jimmy Choos. Not real ones - can't afford them - but the imaginary ones I picture myself walking in. I'm poooooooor. Like poor poor. Having never been poor, this blows.
But it will pass and, like the working daddy you saw, I'll do whatever is necessary to get by. Good luck to you and your family :)

Stopped by from SITS and glad I found you!

Sandy Fights Fat and Blogs About Nothing said...

My first instinct would have been to call the police but I would have looked around like you also. However, I think I MAY have walked over and said (in a polite manner), "Sir, I'm sorry but the mother in me can't help but wonder if your babies are safe on top of the truck. What if somebody hit your truck while driving? What if the car seats slipped?" Hopefully he would have sat the babies in the yard.

I'm sorry for all that's happening to you guys, times are indeed tough right now. My heart goes out to the Repo man too, what a touching story.

Hugs ~ Sandy

Ms. Wanda said...

"I felt the recession all the way to the souls of my Jimmy Choos, not the real ones can't afford them!" One Sassy Girl.....I love that line:) I may have to quote that on my Thoughts of the Day:)
Yes, Sandy you have way more guts than I do:)
The economy is bad but it's not the worse thing that can happen, we have learned to live on a lot less and have grown a lot closer as a family because of it:)

rebecca said...

Everyone's been affected by the economy; some, more than others. My initial reaction to the babies would've been the same as yours. I am glad it had a happy ending though. Good for that man to be doing what he was doing to keep his family afloat. I think the one good thing this economy has taught us is that we are finally beginning to live within our means again. Many of us lived on the hog for too many years inconsiderate to how we were gonna pay for tomorrow. Well, tomorrow is here, and we're paying! And it is a lesson learned. A hard one. But a lesson learned.

QueenBee said...

If my heart was racing as I was reading this, I can imagine your heart pounding as the thoughts went in your head. I am glad it wasn't what we both were thinking. Oh my!!!

JennyMac said...

WOW...I know exactly where Bolton Rd is...this had me quite curious how it would end. Thankfully...a good ending but what a scare.

Lara said...

Wow! It's easy to pass judgement when you don't have the whole story. ..we all do it.

I'm sorry you guys lost your truck - it's tight for everyone (for me, I've been used to more hard times than not, so it's not affecting me as much as some of my friends. I have learned to need less "stuff" over the years, and make do with what I have.)

My stepDad used to call the extras that we feel we must have "window dressing." As long as our family is okay, the rest is just "window dressing."

Hang tight, and I will surely keep you and this hard-working father in my prayers. Things have never been THAT bad for us, but there but for Grace go all of us. . .

KC Mom said...

I may have to drive down there to see that road! I liked your word for ghetto...distressed...it was very positive!
I think you pointed out another reason for us to be careful not to judge things based on first glances. As you found out, this Dad was doing a good job and it was his way of watching the kids. Maybe he was keeping them up high away from animals or something. But the point is...you figured it out!
As hard as it was to watch the repo man, you had a great attitude about it and now you are probably even feeling relief at not having the worry about the payment anymore. I hear ya on that!

Anonymous said...

I've taken that ride on Bolton road and it's amazing. The economy is affecting everyone, but we have to remain positive and trust our God that he will continue to take care of us all. Like you said "Babies for Sale" was all dad can do to provide for his family and watch/take care of the little ones.

R

Yet said...

All I can say is that I'm NOT in a rush to graduate. Please understand! As long as I stay here, i have food, purpose, and loan money. Don't make me go out into the real world!!!

Unknown Mami said...

This post really touched me. I'm glad you got to see that he really was looking out for them. I want to give them all a big hug and commend him for working his butt off.

Alyssa @ KeepingTheKingdomFirst said...

I am so impressed with your positive attitude about the repo man! And also your courage to share your story. No judgment here!

Thanks for stopping by my blog, I appreciate the comment!

Sarah said...

Stopping by from SITS (you're above me). What a wonderful post. Not sure what I would have done but I would have been too chicken to snap pictures ;) Probably would have watched and ended up at the same conclusion as you. I am thankful everyday that I have a job, health benefits, and a roof over my head. Unfortunately MANY people need perspective...daily reminder of how lucky THEY are too :)

MOMSWEB said...

I believe the economy is putting everyone and everything into perspective - the way it should have been anyway. We all live beyond our means in some area of our life.

For years, we were a one car family and it worked just fine for us. Most of the time, the second car is just sitting anyway.

Janet said...

I'm glad he was in fact checking on them and looking after them. I can't help but wonder though, why put the babies on the freakin' truck? Why not on the ground? Maybe in the shade? I'm just sayin'.

Nadirah Angail said...

a great lesson to learn. dont judge. this economy is tough. hopefully itll turn around soon. nice story.

onemuse said...

I'm so glad the story had a happy ending! My heart was racing while reading the first part--I probably would have done what you did (except I'm a photographer yet never seem to have the camera with me at times like this)!

Great attitude toward repo man, who was also just doing his job. Our debt load almost killed us last year--thankfully, I'm blessed with a husband who helped us both get serious about writing every dollar down (it's a Dave Ramsey thing--ever heard of him?) and sticking to a budget like it's been crazy-glued to us. It has been hard but sobering and we're so thankful we started when we did because we were living like there's no tomorrow, you know?!

Hang in there and keep on keepin' on with that great attitude!

Bridgette said...

Thank you for this post. It makes you realize you need to step back and look around before passing judgement.

Wifey said...

It's so easy to pass judgement isn't it? I was crackin' up reading this because I could so see you trying to sneak and take these pictures. LOL. Great post.

Winks & Smiles,
Wifey

~ Lisa @ AbidingThere~ said...

I have so many thoughts about this, I doubt I can type fast enough before I forget half of them!

First of all, For many generations, children went to work with their parents - there weren't daycares. When my 9 yr old was a newborn, he was sweating in his little bouncy seat atop a chest freezer in the hot kitchen of our restaurant while my college degree and I waited tables :) Even now, if I head down there to help my husband, all four kids are in tow. Our youngest two sit in a double jog stroller in the back and watch videos while the older two help out front.

I tend to give the benefit of the doubt most of the time, and I'd assume that daddy on Bolton Rd thought his babies were safer on the truck where dogs and ants couldn't get to them. As a mama, I'd rather not see them teetering up there, but nevertheless, I applaud this man for being a provider and doing whatever it takes.

Also, Ms. Wanda, I love the way you spoke about the repo man and your husband's truck. There is no shame or fear - only relief that you are no longer a slave to that debt. How freeing that must feel. One day I hope to be unenslaved (is that a word?) myself! Until then, I'm holding on by the tips of my fingernails, trying to hold it all together until the economy turns upward and people start eating out again.

I believe these are good circumstances in that they keep us dependant on God, not ourselves. Amen? :)

I would keep typing, but I forgot the other half...

JenellyBean said...

Hahaha

When I was reading your concern, I felt you were overreacting as any mother would. I am not a mom so I don't have the same gut instinct....yet.

Renée aka Mekhismom said...

All I can say is wow! Wow to the babies and that man really living up the phrase "make it work" and wow to you chatting it up to the repo man.

Christian Mommy Writer said...

Wow. I'm glad you stayed around to get the full picture. Bless that man's heart. He was trying to make it work. He probably thought that with the babies on top of the truck, he could see them and bugs and animals won't get to them. Things aren't always what they seem...

Sheryl said...

Though he really was doing the best he could, I have to agree with an earlier comment about the truck being the safest place for the babies to be. So much could have happened out of his control. Thank the Lord for watching over them.

Mama Shujaa said...

I would have been just as flabbergasted to see those babies on that car! It is good to meet you, you have an interesting blog.

Cheers,
Mama Shujaa

lailani said...

hehe! I would have circled back around too! I have not been on Bolton Road - and have only been through Buckhead on 440??? is that right? Anyway, Hubbie had a great uncle that lived where the highway and buckhead now is. Home and land bought for the highway. The economy does present an interesting time, but I think a good time - lines things back up maybe. Even if painful - had to shut down a business (with loan remaining). Fortunately both cars have been paid for for a few years, otherwise we might too have been speaking to repo man! I guess times like these bring our attention back around to those around us, those that are struggling and busting it to stay afloat.

Enjoyed your post!

Petergaye S. Kisielewicz/ Yahgie said...

That baby story is crazy. :=0. Love your blog. Thanks for sharing your story.

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