When I was a little girl and there was that bad feeling in the house, I could feel this dread and I was scared. I was little and I was afraid. There was thunder down the hall and it was coming. Shaking the house. I would hide behind Mom’s legs. Mom was at the kitchen sink. I would squeeze between her legs and the cupboard. When she would turn to face the raging man that was my dad, I would hold on tight and wish and pray that he would go away. He would roar in a very scary voice. He would growl and yell about some thing that had gone wrong. Sometimes he would be waving a piece of paper marked with angry red ink. It was about spending too much money. My mom spending too much money. She was too soft, too stupid, he would scream.
When my son was little, he would sometimes come to stand beside me when I was doing dishes at the sink. I would be looking out at our yard and watching the birds land on the feeder. Sometimes I would be talking on the phone and he would stand there with his chubby arms around my legs. Sometimes his dimpled hand would stroke the skin behind my knee. His chubby cheek pressed against the side of my leg. My hand would float down to touch his flaxen head. Just calmly leaning on me. It was a precious little gift and I would rejoice that so much had changed in the three decades since the times in the previous paragraph. I would thank the heavens for the happy home and financial security I found myself in. I would be ever so grateful that I had a kind husband and that my little guy didn’t ever see a raging dad. We would love him and support him and show him kindness. With this we would watch him thrive and grow displaying confidence in the world around him.
These two memories came flooding back when my dog’s wet nose sniffed the back of my knee to read the information I had gathered in my outing without him. I nearly crumpled to the floor with the traumatic feelings that washed over me for that little girl from five decades ago. So unfair how so many children live with fear and anger and rage and violence with no end in sight.
A wish went up that we fix our world and that we cherish our children and that we have them because they are planned for, wanted and loved.
This lead to another question which comes from the place of hearing my father say he didn’t actually want all of us — should have stopped at three, he would say (I am number 6 of 7). Why don’t men take care to not impregnate women if those men don’t actually want children?
She said she was on the pill.
She was all over me.
She was asking for it.
I was drunk.
Birth control is against my religion.
None of these is a good excuse for the possibility of making a baby. A new tiny helpless human who needs love and care, nurturing and shelter and nutrition until grown into a young adult.
In the words of Ruby Thewes in the movie Cold Mountain: “They made the weather then they stand in the rain and say, shit – it’s raining!”