For a few weeks, we've been teasing Little Girl about her "man fascination". Whenever we're on the street, she seems to pick out the men and stare at them. While this might worry me in about fifteen years, now it's just pretty funny, and speaks well of her relationship with Mario. I've known far too many kids who are terrified of all men, thanks to the scars (literal and figurative) that the men in their lives have left them.
Often when we're at home, we find one of us holding her and the other doing everything in our power to make her smile (which isn't hard). I ask her, "Isn't it great to grow up in a house where you're adored?" But really, all babies should live in a house where they are adored. Unfortunately, in too many cases, it's apparent that not all parents feel that way.
This past week, I've been reading Empire Falls by Richard Russo. In it, he describes a character that grew up with small-time drug dealer parents.
"When John was a little boy, it had been their habit to stuff him into a laundry bag, pull the string tight and hang him on the back of the closet door, where he could kick and scream to his heart's content. After awhile, he always calmed down, and they could have some peace. The trouble with the silence was that sometimes they'd forget all about him, fall asleep and leave him hanging there all night." (pg. 403)That passage has been haunting me all week. Yes, this is a fictional character, but real kids are put through this everyday (and worse, if such experiences can be qualified).
Normally when Little Girl wakes up in the middle of the night, I like to wait awhile to see if she can't get herself to fall asleep again by herself. This week though, I've gone in quite a bit earlier than I normally would, more to reassure myself than her. While I never say anything while in her room in the middle of the night, running in there to put my hand on her chest or hold her is my way of praying for all those kids who are living through nightmarish experiences. Would that there were more that I could do.
As it is, I'll continue to do my best to adore the little one that has been entrusted to my care.