Always, though, they had raised Tyshaun together

then the worst violence of all

Canada Goose Jackets The boy was sitting in his favorite spot, atop his dad’s bed, playing their favorite game, “NBA 2K16” on the Xbox One, when he heard the sound. Pop, pop, pop, from just outside the second floor window on that warm summer afternoon. Tyshaun McPhatter’s father burst through the open doorway, crouching. “Get down on the floor,” he screamed, and the 7 year old knew what that meant: more gunshots. Canada Goose Jackets

Bullets, Tyshaun had learned by then, could break glass and rip cheap canada goose through skin and bone. On his dad’s dresser was a reminder: a three inch button inscribed with “Rest in Peace” that honored a family friend shot two blocks away. Tyshaun didn’t want to get hurt like that, so he dropped the Xbox controller and leapt down to the worn hardwood floor of their aging three bedroom house in Southeast Washington. Chest throbbing, he hid behind the footboard and covered his head with his hands.

He was afraid, but not as much as he had been a year earlier when someone started shooting near a playground just as he cheap canada goose sale skidded down a red plastic slide. Tyshaun figured all kids heard gunfire outside their homes, so he might as well learn to be brave, like his dad.

“I’m not scared of nothing,” he started telling himself.

Tyshaun lived part time with his father, Andrew McPhatter, along a row of 70 year old, red brick duplexes in Congress Heights, just three canada goose outlet store miles from million dollar townhouses and $14 cocktails. But on their side of the Anacostia River, where more than half of the city’s homicides occur and nearly every other child grows up in poverty, many boys and girls learn to navigate peril before they learn to read.

Canada Goose Online For kids in Tyshaun’s neighborhood, and millions of others in high crime communities across the country, the unrelenting threat of violence shapes almost every aspect of their lives: The streets they walk down, the parks they visit, the pictures they draw, the nightmares they have, the number of parents they come home to. Canada Goose Online

Tyshaun mom, Donna Johnson, had worried since he was born about how that environment would affect her boy, who had both a deep well of compassion for people he sensed were suffering and a tendency to explode in anger, often with his fists, when he was being teased or challenged.

She wanted Tyshaun’s story told so people who live in far safer places would understand his world. His mother, relatives, teachers and friends all agreed to talk about him.

As he prepared to start second grade in the weeks after the shooting outside his house, the danger around him only crept closer. He came home one day to discover that a bullet had punched a dime sized hole in their steel front door just below his eye level before tearing into the back of the living room TV. In November, five days before Tyshaun’s eighth birthday, another of his dad’s friends was killed, and one more died in January after being shot 500 feet from their house.

canada goose uk shop The bloodshed intensified in late February. Four people were wounded in one evening less than half a mile away, and another was hit four nights later. on the first day of March, someone raised a gun one block from Tyshaun’s home and a dozen steps from the front gate to canada goose uk regent street his school, Eagle Academy Public Charter. But inside, Tyshaun couldn’t hear the five shots that would thrust the violence circling him for years into the center of his life. canada goose uk shop

‘I hope my daddy’s okay’

Tyshaun was at lunch, trying canada goose retailers uk to avoid the day’s free serving of beefaroni, when he overheard a teacher mention that the school had been locked down.

canada goose clearance That didn’t bother him. Tyshaun was used to lockdowns. Eagle had been through one just a week canada goose outlet official earlier, so as class time approached, he headed out of the cafeteria, where a seven foot high red poster hung on the wall. “The Cat in the Hat,” it declared next to an image of the character, “does not like that violence.” canada goose clearance

He didn’t think much more about the latest commotion in his neighborhood until he passed by the school’s front lobby. Through an expansive glass window, he saw yellow tape and police cars. Tyshaun’s eyes fixed on the red and blue flashing lights.

Canada Goose online His house was in that direction, just beyond all of those officers. Canada Goose online

“I hope my daddy’s okay,” he recalled thinking.

Tyshaun had last seen his father two days earlier, when he dropped the boy off at school after their weekend together. His parents had split up years earlier, and while his dad remained in Southeast, his mom moved two miles away to Oxon Hill, Md., in part to escape the chaos. Always, though, they had raised Tyshaun together.

His parents believed the best way to keep him safe was to keep him busy, so he was perpetually signed up for something: Cub Scouts, hockey, football. Tyshaun, at a wiry 4 foot 4, had decided to play linebacker for the Washington Redskins when he grew up.

canada goose store Andrew, 28, had three sons, but people who’d known him as a child, before the dreadlocks, called Tyshaun his twin. They had the same chocolate eyes, strong chin, quiet smile. And both tended to cock their heads to the side in just the same way. Tyshaun used it for everything: tongue out when he wanted a laugh, eyes pleading when he wanted a treat, lips pursed when he wanted to look like a teenager. canada goose store

He’d stay at the house his dad shared with his grandma and her fiance mostly on weekends, but often longer. They seldom went outside, because it was safer not to, so they spent hours in Andrew’s room, where father taught son multiplication tables canada goose outlet las vegas and son taught father the moves to the rap song “Juju on That Beat.” Sometimes, his dad, who worked construction, tried to rub his smelly feet on Tyshaun as the boy ducked and dodged and giggled until his eyes watered.

They’d fixate on the Xbox well past his bedtime using Andrew’s screen name, canada goose lodge uk “lilandy,” which Tyshaun thought was stupid because nothing about his 5 foot 9, thick bearded father seemed little to him. He would even get to play “Grand Theft Auto V” and “Battlefield 4,” the violent games his mom didn’t like.

About real life violence, though, he said his dad was firm: Never pick up a gun, canada goose down uk but fight if you have to, because fighters live to fight again.

Now Tyshaun was back in his classroom, grappling with math canada goose costco uk problems, and the red and blue lights were still flashing outside, and he still didn’t know why.

canadian goose jacket He also didn’t know why he’d been told that his mom was picking him up early, only to canada goose uk online store be told later that she wasn’t. And he never did know that she had come but collapsed in the lobby, unable to face him. canadian goose jacket

uk canada goose Not until that evening did he see her, and that’s when he knew something was wrong. uk canada goose

uk canada goose outlet “Mom, are you okay?” Tyshaun asked as they sat in the darkness in her gray Dodge Durango. uk canada goose outlet

“Your dad was shot,” his mom said, but he was still alive, and that gave Tyshaun hope.

canada goose coats on sale At school the next day, when a friend who knew about the shooting asked if he was all right, Tyshaun heard another classmate laugh. Furious, he shoved the boy canada goose coats on sale.

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