Saturday, July 10, 2010


I have a two year old daughter. 

I have sort of been putting off writing an entry about her.

With daughters, you don't want to violate anything.

I don't want to have to wring myself out emotionally.

That's what will have to happen for this entry to be really fully...real.

My daughter is...  my little flower.  Little raindrop.  Little sunshine.

This is not to say that I don't love my son.  I love him infinitely more than my own life.  But daughters are just a different kind of love - those of you who also have both will understand what I mean by this.

Recently I had the unfortunate experience of seeing my daughter hurt.  Not just hit by some jerk on the playground.  She was hit in the privates.  By a boy.  It happened more than once before I knew about it. 

What does a mom do when something like this happens to something so pure as a daughter - a little girl: the beginnings of shame?  The beginnings of thinking of herself as an object.  The beginnings of being used by boys by being hurt by them of thinking that boys are mean and bad and decidedly sexual.  I didn't want this to happen to her EVER.  Several reasons.

1.  All boys are not this way.

2.  She's so small - so young.

3.  It makes me think that the idea in my head that every girl has at one time or another been sexually abused by someone is really real.

The whole idea of number three basically stems from the fact that I don't know any girls who haven't been violated in some way - by a boyfriend, family member, or friend - or even a stranger. 

Some of these encounters were more violent than others.  Some more confusing.  Some horrifying and some questionable - all REAL. 

I'm not sure what to do with this information given my mothering a little girl.  Trying to protect her. 

When she runs into the room and says "Pee-pee HURT!" how do I deal with that?

The guilt is overpowering, I admit.

Why wasn't I there to stop it? 

And the anger - why didn't someone else stop it?  Why would another child do something like this to mine?

The worry : what will happen now?  How will this effect her?

Maybe it's something that she won't remember - but I can't imagine her subconscious will easily forget: vaginas are a place of vulnerability.  I have a vagina.  I am vulnerable.

I know that every parent reading this will agree that someone sexually abusing their child is the worst possibly violation.  Rage.  Murderous thinking.  We would kill someone who did this to our children - literally.

As a Christian it is something with which I admit I struggle.  Children are sacred to mothers.  The violation of them is an offense that I would have a hard time forgiving.  The child who hit my daughter is lucky he isn't a grown up. 

I took him aside and did talk to him.  Explain that he should NEVER do something to someone like that - that just because someone is smaller does not give us the right to hurt that person.  That we should protect them instead of pushing them down.  He was a young boy - I hope that something got through to him.  That maybe someday he'll think of hurting someone else and he'll remember that it makes HIM a small person to hurt someone physically smaller than himself. 

If he were a grown-up, I'm not sure I could have been so merciful.  Someone fully aware of what they were doing. 

I look at my little girl and I think, "How could anyone want to hurt something so obviously precious?" 

I know that people who do this need help.  They have a sickness. 

But rage boils in me against those who violate children.  Who mar their innocence.  Who teach them that they are objects to be used by others. 

Today I drove through the neighborhood of my boyfriend from ninth grade.  Yes.  That one.  My entire body grew cold as my family and I drove down his street.  It wasn't that I had specific memories playing in my head.  My whole body was frozen.  Cold and sweaty at once.  I felt trapped and nauseous and blank.  Like a cursor flashing on a blank Word document...  empty and pale.  Ashamed of something that was not my doing.  The Scarlet Letter.  Unearned.

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