There's a playground five feet from the toxic moat, but I won't let my son play at it. In fact, I cringe when I see other people's children playing at it. I wanna run out and say: "NOOoooooooooo !!! Don't let your kid play here !!!" I feel like there should be warning signs put up around it:
'WARNING: DANGER - ALLOWING YOUR CHILDREN TO PLAY HERE COULD RESULT IN RESPIRATORY DAMAGE, BRAIN DAMAGE AND/OR RISK OF WEST NILE VIRUS INFECTION DUE TO MOSQUITO BITES FROM THE OPEN SEWAGE DRAIN RIGHT IN BACK OF THEM.'
But, maybe I'm just being melodramatic. The State Health Department recently informed me that they read my blog, and are interested in investigating "numerous" violations which may or may not be occurring on this property, as it relates to the industrial complex next to it. So, I was discussing it with my son last night, and I said something like: "I doubt they'll find anything, they probably should have come 3 or 4 months ago to get the full effect.... There's no 'water' there, now. And, unless they get extra enthusiastic - and take soil samples - they probably won't be able to actually ascertain what was really in that moat....." To which he replied: "Yeah, that's probably why they put hay down on top of it, to absorb the chemicals." Smart boy.
When we talked about moving, he indicated that he can't wait. He's tired of seeing rats and mice scurry around our living room and kitchen. That made me sad, that as a parent - in this day and age - even with all of my yelling and screaming - I still can't provide more than the bare minimum for him. It's humiliating and lessens the amount of respect he has for me, I'm sure. Do I want it to be this way? NO. Does it need to change? YES.
Can I live here another year? NO.
Is this the way YOU live? Probably not......