This morning my friend Lori posted on Facebook of an exchange she witnessed in her local store:

This morning I was standing in line at the store behind a woman and her daughter.  The kid looked to be somewhere between 6-8ish.  So they walk up to pay and the girl says to the guy ringing them up “Hey I know you!”.  QUICKLY the mom says no you don’t honey. (bad move because kids LOVE to argue) She said “yes I do that’s the naked guy on your phone pictures, you know your special friend”. I sat my drink down and walked out…..that was all I could do…..

Many of Lori’s friends “Liked” the story. Some said “LOL”. One person said it was “Too funny”.  I appreciated Lori’s retelling of the incident, but I didn’t think it was funny.  I couldn’t stop thinking about the little girl. How did she feel? Confused? The incident happened early in the morning, so my guess is they were on their way to school. What is the little one thinking right now, while she’s supposed to be learning to read, add and subtract? Is the naked photo and her mom’s declaration, “No you don’t honey“,  playing on repeat in her little head? In a few years, when she really understands what happened, what will the daughter think of her mother? Will there be respect for the mom?

Reading Lori’s post brought up memories of a similar encounter I had several years ago…the details are revealed in my book so I won’t lay it all out here. In short, my son and I came upon my (then) husband in a store…he was talking to a clerk I didn’t know…but she was not a stranger to my little boy. That store encounter exposed an affair my husband was having with the woman. The S0*&%@B$#!h  had taken our son with him on some of his rendezvous…all under the pretext of going fishing. Today, there is no respect from son to “sperm donor” (Garrett’s name for his male parent).

Why would anyone, especially a parent,  expose an innocent child to the smutty grit of a secret life? The world brings heartache to our children soon enough. As adults, parent or not, we should do all we can to protect the innocence of childhood. In all ways possible, for as long as possible, we should attempt to create a world of purity, shamelessness, blamelessness, guiltlessness and unconditional love.  Things will happen, we can’t prevent exposure to the problems of the world, but harm and heartache shouldn’t come from the parent.

Till next time ~