Latch-key Kids

'This Side of Life'

Latch-key Kids y Pestillo-llave Ninos

He was a latchkey kid. For those of you who don’t know what this is, it’s a kid who has a key to get into a home when parents are working. No one is there when they get home from school.

Arthur was a sweet child. I wanted to gather him up and squeeze him to death. He was about eight when I learned about him. He was a friend of my children, and I immediately took to him. He was soft and warm.

Arthur’s hair was unruly. I took him to a barber with my children a few times. His mother was on welfare, which didn’t often give a family enough to survive. She did side work cleaning houses. I tried to help by engaging her to clean my mother-in-law’s bathroom. It cost me $40.00 a week.

I remember the glow on Arthur’s face as the barber tamed his locks. His brown mop had an unruly cow-lick which refused to fall…

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