4.18.2009

My daughters tears

My heart broke for my little girl tonight. Madelaine has always been my most tender-hearted child with the most pollyannic view of the world. Tonight I had to watch as some painful and horrific bits of worldly reality made its first major impact on that innocence...and that was hard for me.
This evening we watched the movie "An American Crime" together. I had never seen it and had honestly forgotten what it was even supposed to be about. I just knew that the Ellen Paige (the girl who played Juno---one of my favorite movies of all time) was in it, which is why I had rented it. Turns out, it's based on a true story of Sylvia Likens, a teenage girl who is taken in as a border while her parents travel for work and is subsequently tortured and killed (in horrible ways) over a period of months. Maddie had been crying quietly from almost the beginning, but had hit a fever pitch after a particularly hard part to watch. My heart sank as a huge sob escaped her and she looked up at me with a tear-stained face that was distorted with sobbing as she said, "this kind of thing actually happens to people??? To children???" Her question actually made me tear up as I had to confess to her that, yes, abuse actually happens. I felt her spirit crash as she burst into a brand new round of sobs, which got worse at the end of the movie because we had actually not known until then that it was a true story. Learning that it was made the sadness and the sympathy for this girl even more intense.
After the movie, I held my little girl and stroked her hair as she cried. I didn't think the tears would ever end. She was so devastated to learn that ugliness like that exists. She managed to choke out how grateful she was for me, which made me feel good and I told her that maybe she was so affected by this because God was speaking to her heart. Maybe it's her calling in life to help end child abuse. Being the person she is, she immediately grabbed hold of that and is mulling that over. She's such an old soul...always has been. She's only 11, but she's more mature than my 17 year old. It wouldn't surprise me if she ends up doing something really amazing in her lifetime.
I always swore that I would do my best to protect both her and Amelia after the tragic things that had happened to Courtney, and I guess I succeeded to a point because the look of devastated heartbrokennes on her face when she realized that abuse actually happens to people...especially children...in this world said it all. If I could, I would wipe everything out of this world that could hurt my children. I would destroy every match, lighter, whatever, so that there could never be any fire. I would destroy cars so that there could never be any accidents. I would put them in a bubble if I knew it would keep them safe. But I can't. I hate that they have to find out that the world isn't all good. It's not just filled with rainbows and butterflies. But I suppose that if they absolutely have to find out those realities eventually, I'm grateful that I was allowed to be present for it so that I could be the one to comfort her afterwards.

2 comments:

Adwen, the Green Fairy said...

I'm glad she has you and that you could be there for her. Reality is hard to see, we like to think that no one would do these things because we can't imagine ourselves doing it.
Love you V. You're a great mommy!

Mary@Holy Mackerel said...

So hard, these moments of realization. My kids know more about life than I want them to know, but they have to. It's just so difficult.

I'm going to have to check this movie out.

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