So very afraid

11/15/2011 at 10:50 am | Posted in Motherhood | 10 Comments
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I can’t stop thinking about the awful, awful thing that’s all over the news. The Penn State scandal. The little boy who had his innocence — and his life — stripped from him. So early. So cruelly. And he wasn’t the only one.

I can’t stop thinking about it. I wish I could.

These things usually stay buried in the pages of the newspaper I can look past at the grocery store, a web link I can refuse to click on or on a TV I can turn off. I try my hardest to avoid them. Like an ostrich with her head in the ground. I don’t want to see it. I simply can’t bear it. Especially now that I’m a mother. Because if I think about it, if I worry about it, I open the door to the possibility that something this heinous (or worse) could happen to one of my girls. And that thought makes me want to throw up. I feel physical pain when it flickers across my mind.

My girls. I can prepare them to no end. Educate them, empower them. But I cannot control their futures.

I get squeamish when strangers approach us in public telling Lily or Sophie how beautiful they are, touching their hair, getting too close. I no longer care if it seems impolite. With a protective grip on my children, I say a curt “thank you” and move along.

Lily is only three. We’re already starting to teach her about strangers. About which parts of her body are private. I’m scared for her, and she hasn’t even begun kindergarten yet.

My heart hurts writing this. But I need to yank these thoughts out of their confinement in the recesses of my brain and deal with them.

Sometimes I just cannot believe this world we’ve brought our daughters into.

And I never want to let them out of my sight.



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  1. I know just how you feel. I’m sick to my stomach about it. My husband said just last night that if someone ever hurts our children, he would hunt them down. I know what he’s talking about.

    My anxiety is so high and unhealthy right now that I’ve been instructed to not watch tv anymore. My husband told me about this and that’s all I know. That’s all I can know. Or I would probably go insane.

  2. Whenever I see a story that involves a crime against a child, I feel rage. I understand how someone can commit a crime of passion. I have been trying to have the private parts are private conversations with Ian, but I don’t think he grasps the serious nature of what I am saying. I don’t want to scare him, but I also want him to get it. This is an area of parenting that is extremely difficult for me.

  3. Amen.
    I feel the same way…my baby girl just started kindy this fall…I want to protect her, and her little brother – forever.
    If only it were possible.

    What has our world come to?
    Very very scary…

    Big hugs to you and yours –

  4. I have the same thoughts and worries…I have to make sure that my babies are prepared and teach them the best I can. What bothers me the most that people who saw something did not act to protect until much later..

  5. You aren’t the only one. I wish I could bubble-wrap my kiddos too.

  6. Sometimes I poo poo the idea that life has really changed that much from the so-called “good old days” and that our children are still safe, but then something like this happens, and the fantasy ends, leaving me sickened and terrified. I have a little boy, and the thought of someone doing this or anything bad to him makes me sick to my stomach and enraged. And anxious and afraid.

  7. I know, I know. Pass the bubble wrap, please.

    (Ugh. And ouch. And it hurts to read and hear and think about these things with our Mothering hearts.)

  8. When I was pregnant with Moxie my friend told me to read Protecting the Gift by Gavin DeBecker. I started it, but couldn’t get my head around planning ahead for the horrible things that can happen to children when I hadn’t even held her in my arms yet. I keep telling myself that I need to pick it up and read it, but it just stares at me from the bookshelf.

    I prefer to live in a bubble… but parenting requires you to be on high alert at all times. How will we be able to maintain this for a lifetime!?

  9. Oh, I know. How I know what you mean about not being able to turn it off. I don’t know if it’s being a PSU grad, a football coaches wife, or just a mom, but I’m so horrified and embarrased and angry and disguisted and my heart just breaks every time I think abou it. I don’t know how we can ever prepare our children for horrific stuff like this.

  10. I feel the EXACT same way.

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