Monday, August 01, 2005


There was something horrible in becoming a mother for me. Something that makes me feel horror at a profound level. Horror. The horror that comes from real-izing history-making atrocities and putting them in your heart, never to be pure of such truths again. The horror that springs from the pictures of victims of torture. A belly-aching horror. A view of humanity that you cannot rub out of your eyes if you rubbed them blind.

It’s a rawness that I fear I will never escape. I’m raw in regards to children; raw to the horror of a child getting called “stupid” in the grocery, raw to the child yanked down the street by an impatient parent, and raw to the child that gets slapped for his curiosity.

I cannot stomach it. I cannot put it in my belly anymore. I cannot let it go and let it be, as if it’s all okay. It’s all too goddamned horrible.


Blogger Duf said...

I'm so with you, it's not even funny. Things that used to bother me on an intellectual level now hit me like the proverbial mack truck. I still remember the first missing child I saw on the news after my daughter was born. I still remember how I felt on September 11, 2001, 20 days after she was born - I was in shock, but I was also wondering (wondering in spite of myself) "oh my God, what have I done? What kind of world have I brought a child into?" We have an absolute moral obligation to shield children from our dysfuntion, and when we don't do it, a part of me dies. When we purposefully take our dysfunction to children, I'm so sickened and so possessed by rage that I feel like I might bite through my lip.

1:11 PM  
Blogger Aerenchyma said...

That's exactly it. We have an ABSOLUTE MORAL OBLIGATION and to see that obligation throw aside, for what? So the adult can feel a moment of relief at having lashed out at the innocent? And then the innocent become the pained young adults that spring fear in our hearts because of their anger for being treated unkindly. We create this world every day by the way we treat our children. It sickens me that that the little ones ask for so little and we ruin them by giving less.

Thanks duf. It's nice to not feel alone in my rage and disappointment.

1:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Alright, I am saying this without having had children, but I don't agree about the moral obligation is to shield children from human atrocities ... I think the obligation is to let them know that terrible things happen, people sometimes do unimaginable things to other people ... but they (your children) are capable of doing something about it. I say this as a concerned auntie watching my college-age nieces (who were sheltered as teens) walk blindly into the world, shocked that they have to pay bills, and not having any drive or ambition to do anything. Then again, not everyone can save the world, but I like to think we can make our corner better.

Also, I suspect you both have smart kids who will see beyond your shields, so be prepared!

Off my soapbox -


3:06 PM  
Blogger SharonA said...

Funny, (pre-child)i remember after the Oklahoma city bombing being so annoyed that the lives of children were valued more than adults. Now as a parent, I am completely turned around by any news of a sick, mistreated, or missing child, much less 19 dead in a daycare center! So I am a total hypocrite...

5:41 AM  
Blogger Aerenchyma said...

Arasin-I agree with the responsibilty to inform our children, the obligation to protect them comes in our actions toward them...our passing on of abusive behavior because we were abused and our unwillingness to treat them kindly because of our failings. The absolute moral obligation is to shield them from the ugly part of ourselves so that they can imagine a world, live in a world, where they are valued as individuals and extend that value to others when they view atrocities. --Thanks for chiming in. I think that "showing" children that people can do unimaginable things is necessary, but only managable for the child in the context of feeling love. That way they can feel empowered to help change things.

6:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hear you - it sounds like you are putting an awful lot of pressure on yourself to be perfect though. I'm thinking of one friend who has lost her temper with her kid, but alwys apologizes, tries to work with her daughter so the daughter understands parents are human (she never hits her daughter, it's more yelling "ENOUGH" after the umpteenth request to watch a Cinderella video). I never really thought the children who were involved were more important than the adults, but it was more that the children were too young to understand what the heck happened, and I think children are the great unknown hope to make the world a better place ... and to have that hope so cruelly snuffed out (and we so easily let that happen all over the world too, how many children have died in Iraq?). I did once say to a friend who was going off on Timothy McViegh being 'justified' for what he did, and I asked if he would feel the same way if his children were in that daycare. He had no response.

Kids are so smart, so much smarter than adults give them credit for, they will pick up on things going on, things that are said, that are done, faster than you can blink an eye (didn't all of you as a child?)... oi, didn't mean to go off so much.


9:23 AM  
Blogger Aerenchyma said...

This was given to me be sharona and is a really great rendering of my thoughts on the matter. I wish I had written it.

See August 4

12:03 PM  

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