What Should We Do With Our Children?

I’m getting ready to shave my head. This is no idle threat. I’ve done it before. Actually, I came out looking quite debonaire at the time, but that was years ago. May not go so well this time. I’m older. Wrinklier. And in terms of my last post, cuter.

Bald too, but that shouldn’t factor in at all. Should it?

I’m not sure it would make a difference anyway. I’ll just do what needs to be done. It’s like a habit.

Don’t you relish things you read? Time can be condensed, ugly things might be skipped, and you can jump to the part you relish.

Right now, my youngest boy is tearing off a huge fit. Now you have a chance to meet him. He’s beautiful; he runs, jumps, and plays with exquisite abandon. In that he is like every child should be. His face mirrors my wife’s. The rest of him duplicates me as a hellion of that age.

Involuntary smiles, laughs, guffaws, and genuine knee-slapping good times happen to everyone around him when he behaves, and he is definitely a boy. His twin sister, with her deep dimples and love of getting dressed up, is every bit the female as he embodies the male. They are regular toddlers Venus and Mars. They approach life with a gusto that I hope never fades. That is not to say they are the most beautiful children in the world (but of course they are). As a matter of fact – and this should be treated as a booming voice from the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel – Every child born should be viewed as the most beautiful being in the universe because they are. Especially to homo sapiens.

Maybe not so much to the rest of the universe, but that will be another blog.

For the past month and more I had the pleasure of substitute teaching in a self-contained classroom for children with special needs. I hope I made positive differences for every one of the children there. I tried to stay longer, even applied to do it permanently, but alas, those that administer the choice decided another person would best serve their needs, and that’s okay. As long as it does, I’m happy.

The reason I brought it up here was a young girl attending their classroom who told us one day, in the most graphic way what happened to her at home. Please understand. While I work with words and my novels, indeed my blog never shies away from clear visualizations, I am not shocked by these words. Hell’s fires I’m not even taken back by a youngster her age using rough words that communicate things in rough ways. What disgusts me is she used her words in the correct context coupled with correlating bodily actions. That made my brows elevate to my hairline. I know, all the way up.

I will not repeat what she told me, and this is not to protect her parents, the sorriest assholes with which I have had the misfortune of being on the planet. To paraphrase a line from The Lion in Winter – if they were on fire, I would not piss on them to put them out. My personally imposed gag-order is partly because there are limits beyond which I will not write and describe. The lion share of my gag-order is because she lived through an amount of bullshit treatment incomparable to anything any child ever lived through.

There are worse things put upon a child, but they involve the child expiring.

Somehow I must escape from this aphotic visualization. I must ask the obvious question. Why the hell do people hurt children? Believe me, I understand the frustration of listening to the inevitable screams of displeasure and the tantrums. That still does not license anyone to abuse children. Unlike James Bond stories, there is no license to do what you want to anyone, especially growing youngsters.

I think we should all face the fact that developing from babyhood is hard work. It is intense, and the first twenty-five years are the toughest. It is so excruciating we won’t even let them join the workforce for the first many years. That’s true in this country, unfortunately not so in some others. I understand having the children pitch-in for the sake of survival. I don’t like it at all, but I get it. Having them do things for the pleasure of adults disgusts me. That is unless that pleasure is to hear the children laugh and have fun. Most of the time it is not. It certainly wasn’t the case for the youngster in my classroom.

Oh, the twins just stormed in like whirling dervishes, stopped, wrapped their arms around me, and hugged as hard as they could which amounted to gentle squeezes of their arms, heads rubbed on the side of my thighs like a cat purring, and a little chattering in their own language. I say it’s their language. What they do is babble away with occasional nods and shakes of their head followed by more gibbering and or tearing about with squeals of pleasure. To me, there is an exchange of ideas between the two. They demonstrate love for each other – they run, play, hug, and have an occasional fight. In the end, though, they lie down and nap together, wrapping the other with their arms in contentment.

Last night they woke in the middle of the night, crawled in bed with me and the boy did the flamenco on my back and both the girl and he laughed the remainder of the night, no matter how much I growled and barked at them like a dog. But that was the extent of my behavior. There was no yelling, swatting blindly, or God forbid, blindly causing blood to appear anywhere.

How do people become so self-absorbed that they can, and do, things that make children want to do themselves in? And this is what happens to far too many of the little Cherubs. Incidentally, if you cannot see them as angels at any time, then there is a reason why, and it ain’t their true selves shining through, more like your own getting in the way.

I understand that. I’ve let my true self get in the way plenty of damn times, but it stops there. Kids need room to grow, room to live and experience life under sheltered conditions. Why then does society let this crap happen. The answer is simple. Society can only do so much to prevent it. As long as there are people bent on outwitting everyone else and do harm to others, we can’t stop it. I suppose we might have to wait for Humans to grow up.

Or … we can be the diligent ones and never lose sight of our children and protect them.

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