@postaday 211; #postaday2011.
A little news hit very close to home yesterday when we found out about Hawaii’s first sexting case. The allegedly guilty party lives in my ‘hood, was an educational aid at Kid1’s school, and is someone I might mutually follow on Twitter. I say might, because there is a person on Twitter with the same name and other Twitter peeps indicate it is the same person.
Men and women. Men and children. Women and children. Men and men. Women and women. Children and children. When the world is right, these can all be healthy relationships and friendships. Unfortunately, the world is not right.
Child pornography is a disease that is willingly spread among adults the world over. If you’ve ever seen it and were not horrified by it, then I don’t think you understand my point. I think it is a horrific theft of a childhood that seeks to destroy innocence. I think it is telling a girl or a boy they are garbage, a diminished hunk of flesh, and that their soul does not matter. These children can no longer focus on a play date with their friends, building sand castles on the beach with other kids, or keeping their eye on the ball as part of a team. Why? Because joy, fun, dreams, and exhilaration were stolen from them. I think child pornography creates adults who do not know how to relate to other adults and so they sustain the cycle to feed their own bottomless pits. I think somewhere down the line, a callousness develops and hurting children is twisted into a right.
At Niu Valley Intermediate, I trust every adult there each day when Kid1 steps on campus. At Koko Head Elementary, the same is true. As a parent, you have to take your kid to the curb and let that 10-second pause of breathlessness go unanswered as they slam the car door shut and turn their back on you, ready to find their friends, trek to their classrooms and begin their days. You just do.
I am a mom whom every teacher and every principal knows. Sometimes that means I’m a pain in the ass. But it also means that if either of these schools need anything, I will step up as life and work allow. It also means that none of these teachers or principals will hesitate if there is anything going on with my daughters that I should know about. And that’s good for the girls, too.
I hold fast to the ideal that the relationships between adults and children should be based on respect. Children are impressionable and vulnerable. It is important that those adults who come in contact with our children understand that everything they say or do will leave a mark. A 12-year difference between a man in his 20s and a budding tween is a chasm that spans maturation levels in emotion and intellect. Although you might expect a 12-year-old girl to realize she’s being manipulated, it’s very likely she’s confused about the attention she is getting and what it stirs within her. It’s also quite likely to be very difficult for a mother to convince her daughter that the attention she is getting is dangerously wrong. I feel for this family. I hope they heal, and I hope this young lady can grow up to realize the dreams that were intended for her. It’s what I wish for all of our children.
Be the safe harbor, always.