I often hear people say that the brain of a child is like a sponge. My son’s is more like a vacuum, sucking everything in indiscriminately. Therefore, my husband and I have had to watch our behavior in front of our little “spy,” because he seems to have been trained by the CIA at Langley; he doesn’t miss anything.
Lately, he has been asking, “Stupid is a bad word, right Mommy?” I feel like such a hypocrite when I say to him, “Yes baby, and you should never say it,” knowing that I have the tendency to curse like a sailor–in Spanish mostly. But, besides his awareness about bad language, what I have noticed in the past few months is that my little man is starting to really grasp the difference between good and bad.
As much as it amazes me for the best, I can’t help but feeling sad, because his pure and complete innocence is starting to fade away.
No matter how hard I try to delay the normal course of my son’s growth–physical and psychological–I am certain that in a few years he will question the existence of Santa, the Tooth Fairy, and even God. So, what am I to do to keep his innocence? My answer is whatever it takes. No matter if his life is a train with a route already set, I am going to decide where and how long the stops will take place, as long as I can.
However, the problem is the nature of the dangers children face, regardless of a pampered and privilege environment. As a mother, I think that my worst fear is that a “spoiled” apple (friend) might teach my son bad habits or get him to head-butt our rules like a ram.
But, when I see the news, the real scary monster is the wolf dressed in sheep’s clothing. I am not referring to someone in Halloween attire, but the real predators who sneak around disguised as regular people, pleasant acquaintances, and even close friends.
When my son was born, I subscribed to the Florida Offender Alert to receive the law enforcement’s sex offender flyers every time one of these monsters is released from jail and moves somewhere within our zip code. Last week I received one, and when I opened the attachment and saw the mug shot, I looked into his eyes and felt a chill run through my spine.
Too often sex abuse and molestation cases are in the news, near and far. But, the latest one that caught my attention is the case of the Sgt. 1st Class Charles Martland, who was discharged from the US Army after serving some “street justice” to an Afghan military commander who admitted, proudly and comically, to being a child rapist.
The worst part of this disturbing story is not what the Afghan commander did; the really repulsive act comes from our own US Army commanders and Government officials who rejected his appeal to stay in the service. They believe that Sgt. Martland was wrong to get involved in this matter because it is not part of the war. With this ruling, what America is saying to the world is: if raping children is part of your culture, we’ll just go with it. No reason to make a fuss.
I would love to know what would have happened if the Afghan monster had attacked an oil refinery instead of defenseless children. In that case, I am positive a drone would have smoked him in seconds.
In my eyes, the Green Beret Martland is a hero. Even though his actions may very well cost him his career, he stood up to evil and saved his soul. Fighting to preserve the innocence of a child, anywhere in the world, is worth going to battle until the ultimate sacrifice. That’s what I would do for my son or any boy or girl in harm’s way.
Always stay vigilant; the wolf is just waiting to pounce on the sheep when their shepherd falls asleep. Let’s think about our kids’ safety and keep our eyes open for the real monsters that dress-up like good people, any given day.
Thanks for reading and Happy Halloween!