September 5, 2005

"How did a 6-year-old end up being in charge of six babies?"

Deamonte Love, leader among babies.
In the chaos that was Causeway Boulevard, this group of refugees stood out: a 6-year-old boy walking down the road, holding a 5-month-old, surrounded by five toddlers who followed him around as if he were their leader.

They were holding hands. Three of the children were about 2 years old, and one was wearing only diapers. A 3-year-old girl, who wore colorful barrettes on the ends of her braids, had her 14-month-old brother in tow. The 6-year-old spoke for all of them, and he told rescuers his name was Deamonte Love.

In fact, rescuers had separated these children from their parents, and the parents deserve credit for having raised such a beautifully responsible young boy.

7 comments:

Brendan said...

Kudos to the toddler, who picks up where the police left off.

lindsey said...

Why were they separated?

Steven said...

Lindsey --

As per the article, a helicopter came to where they were living; the parents put the kids on the helicopter for the trip to get them safe first, with the expectation the helicopter would come back and get them. But the helicopter didn't come back.

So the parents got rescued separately, and thus got processed separately, and wound up in different refugeee housing.

oregano said...

And a little child will lead them?

Ilana said...

There are a number of stories coming out of this tragedy that show courage and altruism in children and young people. I wonder if a non-profit could establish a college fund for these kids, who are already proven heroes. I would donate, and I bet a lot of people would. Leadership is too scarce to waste.

Elizabeth said...

Ilana,

What a wonderful idea. And thanks for this story, Ann.

David Leftwich said...

I was volunteering at Reliant Center yesterday, and it was amazing how resilient the children where. Because of the all the kids playing, you would almost think you were at a summer camp instead of an evacuee center. Some of what happened will probably sink in later, but for the now the kids where, well, being kids. I was looking after two young boys while their Grandmother got some rest and tried to made contact with her Granddaughter in the Atlanta-area. The Grandmother had lost all of her contact info in the flooding and her son’s contact info, which he carried in his wallet, had got ruined by the water, as had many of his family photos. The great news is while I was there other volunteers where able to locate the Granddaughter, and transportation to Atlanta was being arranged for them. But back to the two little boys, one was in 6th grade and the other in 5th grade, and not only did they very politely call me Mr. David, when was the last time a kid you know used Mr. or Mrs., but they kept offering me some of the lollipops they had been given and some of the Lucky Charms they were eating, and this is after losing everything. Their house was flooded to the roof top and knocked off its foundation, and they only survived by jumping from roof top to roof top. The Grandmother had scraped up knees, elbows and hands to show for it. But those boys where some of the most well behaved, unselfish, and polite kids I’ve ever seen.