An outraged neighbor sent an anonymous note to Mike and Kelly Bruning, who live with their two young boys in San Diego near the beach. The neighbor’s problem? The letter-writer thinks the couple is being “selfish” for bringing up their young children, ages two and four, in a “tiny” apartment. The letter-writer thinks the kids deserve a backyard, and that only their parents’ love of the beach denies the kids the American dream of backyard playing.
Meeting outrage with outrage, Mike and Kelly posted the note on Facebook. Replies heavily favored the beachy couple. “They’re jealous!” was a main theme. The letter accuses the parents of trapping their kids “in a tiny, one bedroom upstairs apartment” and concludes “Shame on you.” Online, the shaming went the other way. One of the most eloquent defenses was: “It isn’t the size of the house, or even the location of it that matters. What does matter is the amount of love that the kids receive.” The general opinion is that it isn’t really beach v. backyard — it’s love v. lack of it. The Brunings seem to be winning there — and so close to the sea.