Let me just start by saying again how much I love this house. The layout, the space, the fenced yards with room to play, the wood floors, the details, even the paint color. The neighbors are all big Mexican families with lots of cousins and never ending music blasting from loud speakers. The nearby shops are all labeled in Spanish and there is an amazing taco stand just a block away from our house. It's like being in Mexico, only more expensive.
We started to notice pretty soon after we moved in that this may not be the most ideal neighborhood. Maybe it was the way the local sheriff's department seemed to be permanently camped out on the corner nearest us.
Or it could have been the night someone ran through our yard evading capture by the authorities, or the drive by sheriff's vehicle with that big spotlight that they shine in yards when looking for someone that I noticed on several occasions while tucking my children in for the night.
The sound of police helicopters overhead kind of clued us in as well.
Aaron says, when people ask about the neighborhood, "Yeah, it's a great, the police are here ALL THE TIME."
So apparently we landed in gang central. Nice.
Once, when I was just driving around the block I stopped short at the sight of an officer of the law staked out behind his car with a high powered rifle waving me to go a different way. That was exciting. No playing outside that day.
Just in case I hadn't already figured it out, this happened the other day to remind me.
The Boy has a toy pistol made from wood and duct tape by his uncle. The other day we were heading out and I told him to pick it up and get in the car. I didn't notice him pretend to point it at a parked car and shoot with it. But as I closed the kids door I suddenly realized that there was a sheriff standing next to me, his car stopped in the middle of the street.
"This is a pretty violent and dangerous neighborhood," he says. "I wouldn't let him play with that or point it at cars because it could lead to a situation."
Then he pointed through the tinted window where we could see him still holding the gun and it looked pretty real. "I don't even let my son carry a play gun in car any more. If you get stopped or an officer sees it, it could lead to a pretty tense situation."
So I thanked him and got in the car to drive away. But what I really wanted to say is, "Where were you when I first came here to sign my lease?"