Pete and I are blessed beyond all measure that our kids are safe and healthy and happy and free from harm. I string those blessings together as that string was the mantra for the prayer I offered up each night for years and years. Without even thinking, really, the mantra rolls off my tongue.
Something happened last night that had me remembering the mantra as I tossed and turned and fiddled around on the iPad, and, when sleep finally seemed achievable, awakened off and on throughout the night. The kids are fine. Any residual issues for the one affected will likely be minimal. At least Pete and I intend to make it so.
Cryptic offerings, to be sure, but it's not about you. It's about me getting things out, exorcising demons, if you will.
And it's demons, to be sure. Not my kids, but another child. And so, intermixed with the pure anger I have for what another child did to mine and others, is such sadness for that other kid and his parents. I conjure up Jeffrey Dahmer's father. No surprise, the way my mind works, that I would make a leap that far.
There were two boys in Youngest's grade whom I pegged as future serial killers of America when they were in kindergarten. There have been other children I have encountered who I just know will be imprisoned sooner rather than later. These are not aspiring gang members being raised in an inner city environment; these are middle-class kids in a suburban setting. And they are sociopaths who have evil within them.
Would I recognize such vileness in a child of my own? Would I get him or her the help needed or chalk up the deeds as misunderstood or blown out of proportion or just childish behavior? Would I be able to look the victims' parents in the eye and agree with the assessment looking back at me or would I blame them for the ill effects that befall my kid? Would I see that what the victims' parents do to force the issue is really the right thing to do or would I go gunning for them?
Love the child, by all means, good god, the kid certainly needs your love, but get the help needed. And now. So no one else gets hurt and, years from now, you're not seeking out Lionel Dahmer for guidance and comfort.