Children

by Chris de Serres

I was watching a video about mothers.  It’s all those moments as a kid, where you are snuggling in bed with your mom.  Where she is taking care of you when you are sick.  Or helping you with your homework.  We only have one childhood and your mommy is who you remember most.  Who always seems to be there for us.  It’s probably the most love you will ever feel.

I could see this bright smile on my daughter’s face as she crawls into our bed early in the morning to snuggle.  This will be what she remembers.  We take mothers for granted.  So much that we couldn’t fathom them not being in our lives.  I imagine those kids in the foster system who never had a chance to call someone mommy or even daddy.  It must leave such a hole in their lives.  I don’t know how you could recover from it.  Many don’t.  It’s why I feel that if you truly are concerned about children in this country you would make sure women have easy access to abortion.  Too many men and women are not ready for parenthood.  Then they give birth.  Then what comes next is not pretty.

We are awesome at having the children.  We’re just horrible at raising the children.  People fight with tooth and nail to make sure every fetus comes to fruition, while at the same time not giving a lick about what happens to that baby afterwards.  They are ignorant of how the system works when it comes to unwanted babies.  They are ignorant of the effects that being ‘unwanted’ has on a child.  We shouldn’t be bringing unwanted babies into this world.  It’s too traumatic and difficult a life.  Our foster and adoptive system is too beleaguered, too overwhelmed.  They seem not to know what to do in cases of abuse.  They don’t know how to react fast enough to save that child.

The way our system deals with unwanted children is by incarcerating them on the backend.  We traumatize the child.  We aren’t prepared to provide them with a mommy and daddy.  This lack destroys them.  Then they rail against the world and we put them in jail.

There are some things that are too difficult for me to imagine.  Chris, imagine for a minute how life would have been like without your mother.  Say she died at birth.  Or she gave you away, so you probably didn’t know your dad.  Imagine you didn’t know your mother.  Not even her name or how her face looked or who she was or the sound of her voice.  Was she a good person?  Did she love me?  Why did she leave?  Did she hate me?

You ask these questions your entire childhood.  Your entire life.  You make it into adulthood.  You try to find your mother.  But you find out she is dead.  Do you see the destruction?

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