What Strolling My Sons in a South Shore Neighborhood Taught Me

Posted: October 1, 2012 by Keith Townsend in Uncategorized

By Mark Dyson of Competetive Resumes and The Voice of the Job Seeker

If you are unable to walk your toddlers through your neighborhood, where you live, then you’re missing
out on knowing your children. There were times when it told me who they would become. It told me
what I needed to teach them as growing young men.

We lived in a beautiful co-op near 69th and Jeffrey in the 1990s. I strolled both of them through the
hood, good parts and bad parts. We also walked throughout the neighborhood including 71 st street.
They were un-phased by the homeless, the belligerent, and the Metra train noise.

What intrigued them the most? Dogs.

None of our relatives had dogs at the time. A few friends, but we have relatives that hate dogs. Despise
them. Abhor them.

All of the dogs on our block were friendly. Even the big dogs melted when they saw the boys walking
through the neighborhood. Dogs were friendly, and the boy adapted until one day a loud and mean dog
came really close to them barking, snarling, and seemingly infuriated. Fortunately, this dog separated us
by his owner’s gate.

There was no need for panic I thought. Both of the boys were startled, and couldn’t grasp that nothing
was going to happen to them. What happened next was the first major revelation of the character that
appeared out of both of them.

The oldest was crying hysterically, but stood between the dog and the youngest. The youngest was
startled and wasn’t crying, and no longer afraid.

We kept walking, but that was a preview of who they are now. My youngest keeps asking my wife and I
for a puppy.

And I didn’t teach them that.

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