Two of the Children Raised By Wolves have birthdays coming up next week.
Fellow Traveler and I have been discussing what to do for these kids. We can't give them money because their parents will take it away from them. (FT worked it out with the oldest that, when he does odd jobs at the Big House, she will give him half his wage for his mother to take -- she'll do that anyway -- and squirrel away the other half in a secret hiding place for him on our property. How incredibly sad that we have to play these kinds of games with the kids' parents.) We can't give them gifts with any kind of monetary value because the parents will pawn them.
So we are going to take the two birthday boys out to eat on the eve of their birthdays. Fellow Traveler told them they can go anyplace they want except McDonald's. Oldest Child broke out into a smile...thought a moment...then said, "I really don't know what places there are to eat."
We know they like pizza, so we're aiming for a local place that serves that, and also has a couple of arcade games the kids can play.
We've found out that Mama Wolf has been keeping these kids out of school for no good reason (other than that she can't rouse herself out of bed early enough to get the children ready for the bus). We're rapidly reaching the tipping point of sending in professional reinforcements. But, no matter what happens to these kids in the future, we really want them to know that not all adults are like their parents and the others who've failed them; that there are people who care about them and mean them well; that there's a way of life other than what they've experienced thus far. We want them to be able to look back on a day when they had fun with no strings attached.