A middle-aged widower is afraid to let children in his neighborhood use the pool and spa in his rental property in case their parents misread his intentions.
In our story of the day, a middle-aged widower who owns his own home, as well as a rental property in a nearby neighborhood, is wrestling with a difficult decision with regards to the house's swimming pool and jacuzzi.
The man had originally rented out the house to a family he trusted, and that family had allowed the neighboring children to use the facilities. Now that family has moved, and the widower is unwilling to allow the neighboring children to continue to use the swimming pool.
The swimmingpool | Source: Unsplash/ Adheesha Paranagama
THE WRONG IDEA
The widower's fear is that because there are some people who approach children with evil intent, his allowing the neighborhood kids to play on his property might give people the wrong idea about him.
The problem is compounded by the fact that the man has decided to rent out his original 5 bedrooms property, and move into the smaller 2-bedroom rental house with the pool.
Child in a swimming pool | Source: Unsplash/ Jelleke Vanooteghem
The owner of the house is afraid that if he allows children to continue to use the pool, as they have for the last 8 years, he might run into problems. He wrote that the whole neighborhood is used to using the pool now, and added:
"This never worried me as a landlord because I trusted the family but now that I will be living there I worry about how a black male widower who let's kids use his pool will appear."
The landlord | Source: Unsplash/ Antreina Stone
THE PERCEPTION OF WRONG-DOING
The man is particularly aware of the possibility that his kindness might be misconstrued as a predator's wiles since his son, a teacher, was investigated for giving some of his students half-hour sessions of specialized tutoring.
One of the parents accused the son of offering tutoring to get "alone time" with the students, which led to an investigation. The son was exonerated of all wrong-doing, but the taint remained.
Text of letter | Source: Reddit
CRUEL TO BE KIND
The man's neighbors have sent him letters expressing their disappointment that their children can no longer use the pool and jacuzzi, and even though he feels bad he does not want to risk unpleasantness in the future.
This story is a sad reflection of the times and the society we live in today. There are indeed many predators stalking our children, and since we cannot identify them before they commit their horrific crimes, we must suspect all.
The kindly widower is right to safeguard his own reputation, but also the well-being of the children who used to play so happily in the pool, and their parent's peace of mind.