Dinner Conversations and The Child's Perspective
One day, I was at a restaurant, and I overheard these two teenage girls talking. One of them hadn't too long had a baby.
“Girl, I thought you would be trapped in the house with the baby.”
“No, I need my freedom. Why does my life have to stop? I still hang out and party just as much as I used to before I got big.”
“Your mom’s at work now? Who’s watching the baby?”
“My cousin, Lexi, and her husband.”
“Mary, they party as much as you! They don’t know anything about raising a kid-”
“The kid is not going to know. As long as the baby is fed, what difference does it make?”
It may make more of a difference than you realize. There’s a misconception that just because one is very young, he has no memory. Or if the event happened when he is too young to form words, that it has no impact.
One never knows when remnants of the past may pop up in the present. It could be a smell or a particular sound that can take you back to images you thought you could forget.
I tackled this concept in Shattering the Mindless Myth (excerpt):
Since I was a baby
You didn't think it mattered
What you did;
You could do what you wanted
And I wouldn’t be affected.
Yet, a child can tell when she’s being in care of the parent and when she’s being cared for by someone else:
Because folks forgot to feed me:
Instead, in the background, humping.
The child doesn’t have a choice in being brought into this world, yet some people they can go back to business as usual once the child is born. Just because you think your life is back to normal doesn’t mean the child is adjusting to the changes.
I would have rather
You slit my wrists
Than for you to have the right
To treat me like this.
A child needs more than food, clothing, and shelter. The child needs love, especially from the person who gave him/her life. You never know what type of devastation you can leave behind:
...you subject me
To a fate worse than death:
Selfishness and neglect.
It’s one thing for someone to get upset at you when you’ve done something wrong. It’s another thing entirely when you know you’ve done nothing, except exist.
Perception and reality do battle in the piece My Fault: Her Perception. There are situations where the young parents blame the child for not going as far in life as previously envisioned:
It’s my fault that she fell in love
With the first man that came along.
It’s my fault that she stuck with him
Despite all the warnings
He was stringing her along.
It’s my fault that she decided
She didn’t need birth control,
And it’s my fault that he decided
Not to put the condom on.
The logical component and the emotional tirade proves to be mentally exhausting. The length of this piece illustrates the back and forth--the composition of what a child can deal with, even when not being fully aware of the circumstances.
In the end, the child comes up with the only question that makes sense:
So if everything
Is my fault in her eyes,
Then why does she keep me alive
To continue her demise?
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