It was Saturday morning, and like any other Saturday, we were devoted to cleaning the house.
Well devoted is possibly not the right word, but at least we’re all trying. This particular Saturday, I was cleaning out the cutlery drawer, wondering how on earth the spoons and forks always end up everywhere else but where they are supposed to be. How can one drawer be so messy?
All of a sudden I hear a scream, and my mothering radar tunes in on the fact that is BJ. Which means that either his little sister has attacked him again (highly possible), or he has attempted some super human feat and hurt himself (highly probable.) It was the latter.
I’m not exactly sure what caused the injury, but there was something about a skateboard, an old tire and putting on a show in the driveaway, that led to him with a grazed knee, and three dots of blood. Oh the horror!
Remember when you did that as a kid? How much it hurt? And how you wondered, every single time, if you would ever walk again? Or was I the only dramatic child out there? Anyway, as I’m kissing his knee better, and feeling a deep compassion that only the previously grazed can feel, I was suddenly overwhelmed with sorrow. Deep, painful sorrow, that made me look at my little boy and want to squeeze him tight.
You see prior to my kitchen tidiness project, I had of course started Saturday morning in the usual way, and gone on Facebook, where I had come upon this update.
Just stop, for a minute, and think about it. 30 children. Every hour.
That’s a whole classroom, sold off to the most defiled minds on our planet.
That’s the kind of thing that should move us; make us feel physically ill and want to make a change.
But first thing on a Saturday morning, when you have a messy cutlery drawer to deal with, it’s hard to see how that change can happen. It’s easy to move past it, just a little.
Until you look at your little boy with a grazed knee, that probably stings like all buggery, and you are so grateful that this is all the pain he knows right now. He is not being forced to perform unspeakable acts. Not being tortured because he doesn’t want to.
He is allowed to cry; to show his pain. There is no fear in his eyes when he comes to me, and begs me to make it better but ‘don’t touch it mum!!’ Just a trust that even if all I do is kiss him, everything will somehow be all right.
My boy is a sensitive boy. Rough and tumble and undeniably masculine, but sensitive. He holds things close to his heart; he can be very self critical. The flip side of that, is that he loves huge. His heart is big and wide and full of so much joy to give. He is amazing.
For a moment, that morning, I allowed my mind to think the unthinkable, and ask the question, ‘what if?’ What if he was one of those 30 that every hour is being prepared for sexual exploitation. What would that do to him?
How would that change him?
I couldn’t bare to answer the question. Just the very idea that a grazed knee would be the least of his worries, breaks my heart. He’s an almost five year old boy; a grazed knee should cause his entire world to fold, because he can’t run on it for three minutes. That’s how it should be.
Not just for him, but for every single child.
And also their parents.
Last night I was dreaming, that I was at a conference, but I couldn’t ever make it to the sessions. I was being distracted by friends, and hot chips and bodyguards tackling the homeless (what’s that about?) but I was also trying to find my kids. I had it in mind to put them in the kids program that promised fun and games and the chance to do things they wouldn’t normally do, but I couldn’t find them.
I was running everywhere looking for them, and I found old work colleagues with their new babies, old school friends running administration desks, and blogging friends buying fries, but my kids were no where to be found.
I dream a lot of dreams, every night. In vivid, technicolour detail, with surround sound. And without a doubt, the worst dreams are not where I am running from a monster, or battling a snake, but the ones where my babies are missing. To a mother’s heart, there is nothing worse than that.
30 children every hour.
30 sets of parents, who will ask the questions why, where, who, how, and the unspeakable ‘what’?
So many lives changed.
So many dreams broken.
So many nightmares lived out.
It’s not ok.
Not on our watch.