I am sick to my stomach.
'Outraged' does not even begin to describe my anger.
I have a 10 year old son. Big, beautiful brown eyes, and a dimple when he smiles, which is often.
I have a 10 year old niece. Freckles, fiery and all girl...who also plays a mean soccer game.
Two stories in the news made me do a double intake of breath when I heard and read them.
When Jerry Sandusky was seen in 2002 violating a 10 year old boy in the coaches' locker room at Penn State, no one called the police.
Called the police????
Maybe its the 'mom' in me, but I'd like to think that if I walked in on that, I would have gone 'Mama Bear' on the supposed adult, and made him go limp in more ways than one!
An article by Bill Phillips explains the possible reason the assistant coach, who actually witnessed the violation of the 10 year old boy, chose (on the advice of his father) to report the incident to Joe Paterno only, and not the police, was because psychologically,
“Men are still socialized to not show vulnerability, so it’s easy for others to make us feel like we’re being too emotional, that we’re big babies.”
Men still know right from wrong. A man having sex with a boy is a scene very few people would find 'normal', so I wonder how long it took the memory of that 10 year old boy's face to cause that assistant coach to start suffering from ulcers.
I then read another article about a 10 year old girl giving birth to a baby boy in Mexico. The girl was only 31 weeks along when she gave birth, so the baby stayed in the hospital, while the girl was released to go home. She visits the hospital daily to breastfeed.
Breastfeed? A 10 year old is breastfeeding a baby?
Here again, my small, naive mind cannot conjure such an image. The article went on to say that,
"The Puebla state Attorney General's Office is now investigating whether the girl could have been raped and who the father is..."
Could have been raped?
Since the article also points out that the minimum 'age of consent' is 12 (which also sickens me), is there any other option besides rape?
I will not accept an excuse like, "she looked much older than she was", because once she opened her mouth to speak, SHE WAS 10!
Seeing a parent discipline a child in the grocery store using corporal punishment is one thing. Seeing an adult sexually violating a child, or the obvious result of such an act is quite another.
Why are there still adults allowing the abuse of our most precious gifts ~ our children?
As Edmund Burke once said: “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.”
Why is anyone upset that Joe Paterno was fired?
I can't believe it just happened.
I smell rubber, hot asphalt and dusty, dry weeds. My legs feel like they have been smashed into the pavement, and are full of needles My whole right side is on fire, and I smell and taste my own blood.
I open my eyes and am momentarily blinded by the hot sun. I focus, and see a yellow line on the road, pebbled and uneven looking , and I look down at the bundle in my arms, a mass of blond hair, pink t-shirt, skirt and pudgy legs ending in sparkly sandals and pink painted little toes. No blood or odd angled limbs. Thank God!
I hear whimpering, and whisper, "Are you all right?"
Continued whimpering prompts me to repeat forcefully, "Are you all right?"
"Yeah, I think tho." the little first grader lisp whimpers back as she looks up at me. She has blue eyes like my son, light blue, almost gray.
Her whimpering starts to grow, becoming a little sob, and I adjust my left arm to brush her hair back as she starts to get up.
"It's okay, sweetie. It's going to be okay," I whisper as I lay my head back down on the pavement, hearing screams, running footsteps and car engines idling. I close my eyes as the distant sirens wail, and welcome the reprieve from the bright sun, but I still see the light shining through my eyelids, until, finally, painless, cool darkness.
Yes, I occasionally do cross walk duty, and actually take my life, and the lives of elementary school children in my own hands. And, yes, occasionally, I have dreams about it. This delusional dream of grandeur is very revealing of my biggest fear - children (especially my own) in danger. Thankfully, I am never a victim in these dreams...I always fight, and win the safety of the child, but the cross walk fear is very real.
The insecure, inconsiderate mom/dad going around on the wrong side of the road to cut in front of everyone else. The self-important mom/dad texting or talking on the phone while stopping traffic to cut in front of the next rightful car, then walking her/his child back to their car still talking on the phone as if the child is the grocery store clerk with whom kindness and consideration is apparently not required. The non-parent too busy to wait, passing on the right - sometimes off the paved road to get around all this 'child pick-up mess' - and speeding through the intersection, oblivious to the cross walk monitor holding the large stop sign...hence the dream.
Always show patience and kindness in the face of the impatient and unkind. Otherwise you become what you detest. It is one thing to be too insecure, inconsiderate and self important to let anyone else have the right-of-way, and it is something totally different to put children in danger.
"It's all right, sweetie..."
"It's all right..."
If you have ever practiced yoga, you know that in the beginning, it hurts.
You can't believe how sore you are from just stretching, but if you keep it up, you become more flexible the next time you dress in pajamas and take out your mat.
No, this isn't about my new online Yoga Studio, so don't worry.
Once stretched, the muscle accommodates the new activity and becomes leaner. It does not go back to its original shape unless you never use it again.
A baby puts her mind and body through the most rigorous stretching and growing regiment of anyone at any other age. I have never seen a baby go back to not knowing how to crawl after she has finally crawled to her stuffed animal . . . not knowing how to run after she has run into her daddy's arms.
Even though we adults know how to crawl and run, and now choose to drive, we can still stretch and grow our minds and bodies in new ways. Let's focus on our minds right now.
I have many friends and acquaintances who have accomplished small and amazing things, and no matter the success of these accomplishments, once reached, they are never forgotten . . . never unreached.
~ A woman who battled her husband's adultery and divorce, then her own breast cancer to now lovingly continue to raise her two daughters while nurturing her community based business.
~ A man who had difficulty emotionally connecting due to a car accident that damaged a small part of his brain, now lovingly raising his daughter with his wife of 15+ years.
~ A woman, and mother of four, helping her daughter find balance through mental illness, and using this hard-won knowledge to help others throughout the world do the same.
~ A woman who has always been surrounded by, and felt in herself the entrepreneurial spirit, but who's first business failed, helps others with their own personal stories, which is what she loves.
~ A woman lost a loved one in the tragedies of September 11, 2001, and now helps others find peace with loss.
Each person's creativity guided them uniquely through each accomplishment, and helped them grow to the next. Once divorced, you cannot undivorce - once injured, you cannot uninjure - once an entrepreneur, you cannot unentrepreneur. You can remarry, repair and restart, but the original experiences never disappear as if you waved your wand and said, "Obliviate!" These experiences seep into your every cell, and help your mind and body stretch and grow.
Now, the word "creativity" may have scared some of you, and made you automatically decide that this post does not relate to you, it only relates to those few gifted with "creativity".
You are so wrong.
I challenge you to look closely at yourself, at your life thus far, and find something you have accomplished that did not require creativity.
Creativity: (n) the use of the imagination or original ideas
Are you going to tell me you have never used your imagination or had an original idea?!
Did you ever write a report in middle school where you had to use your own words to make an assessment of something? HA!
Did you ever talk to your kid about why he needs to share, and used a personal experience to illustrate the power and purpose of sharing? HA!
You have the creativity and experiences to stretch and grow beyond where you are right now. Please don't wait for a tragedy, or near miss of one to provide the impetus to do so right now. Please don't sit back after hearing of a friend's new accomplishment, and say, "WOW! I wish I could do something like that."
What is your idea?
What is your current dream?
Stretch and grow using your creativity right now. You won't regret it.