One man's view of the world, from the top of this great big rock somewhere in the middle of God's Country, with an eye toward freedom....or at least some way to get back down without goin' over the edge.

My Photo
Location: West Virginia, United States

Former U.S. Army, SPC E-4, Veteran of Operation Desert Storm. If you are or have ever been a soldier, you have friends in my house.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

...And Not a Glass Slipper in Sight: Parents in Fantasyland

CHILD WARNING: Don't let your little ones see upset the hell out of me, so I figure it will knock them for a loop, too.


Okay, quick show of hands, folks...

Who out there knows someone who still wishes their life was like a fairy tale?

Raise 'em up high so's I can see 'em now....
One, two, three....okay, there's a few of you. (Yes, you in the back, I counted you. Siddown, whydoncha.)

Certainly, most of us have daydreamed about something like that at least once or twice in our lives. Being rescued from our drab existences by a knight in shining armor, finding a beautiful princess to wake with a kiss and live happily ever after with, yadda-yadda-yadda...
Don't lie, now. You know you have. Hey, I've done it. (Stick with me, kiddies...I really am going somewhere with this.)

But the modern world doesn't have much room for fairy tales. Something always seems to get lost in the translation.
Unfortunately, that something almost always ends up being the "happily ever after" part.

What's that I hear....I'm talking outta my ass? Blowing smoke, you say? Just blathering on about damsels in distress and some such for a quick blog filler, am I?

Friends, I really wish I was...but I'm not.

From the AP story (emphasis mine):
WICHITA, Kan. - Two emaciated girls who told police they ate only when their father wasn’t traveling on business were hospitalized after police found them in an advanced state of starvation.
"It’s the worst case of malnutrition I’ve ever seen," said police Lt. E.J. Bastian. The 6- and 7-year-old girls were found Friday in a home’s basement, were (sic) they were kept.
The girls’ stepmother, whose biological children were found
healthy and well-fed upstairs
, was taken in for questioning. Their father, traveling on business, was to be questioned when he returned, police said.

Sound familiar?

As I read that, my eyes actually bugged for a second. To think that there are actually people out there who can look a child in the eye, and do something like this...

Sit for a minute, folks. Just relax, and let it sink in.

Then try to imagine the look on my face when I found ANOTHER one just like the same week, no less.

From (again, with my emphasis):

LYMAN, S.C. - A couple was jailed on felony charges after police discovered their three adopted sons were severely malnourished, including a 5-year-old boy who weighed less than 20 pounds.
An 8-year-old brother weighed less than 40 pounds and a 7-year-old brother weighed about 32 pounds when police found them Thursday. The boys also were treated for bruises, scratches, burns and head lice.
Two of the boys told officers they were tied up to be kept from
in the mobile home.

"Okay," I hear you cry, "but where's the stepmother angle?" Read on....

A fourth child, Molly McCurry's 10-year-old biological daughter, was found to have head lice but was not malnourished, police said."It appeared that mom, dad and daughter ate one way, and the boys ate another way," Spartanburg County sheriff's Sgt. Kevin Bobo said.

All together now, folks...say it with me..."WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON HERE?!?"

Well, your guess is as good as mine....and, sadly, there's a lot more where those came from. More than I would care to ponder.

How can these people -- well, hell, how can ANYONE -- possibly think that something like this is the way to raise a child?

When I look at my 10-year-old son (Good God, has it really been ten years already?), I see myself. I see MY handsome prince.
I see my future buried deep in his smirky brown eyes, his cocky little grin. Today, a house full of Lego's....tomorrow, who knows?

You know what my kid wants to be when he grows up? One of the Imagineers at Walt Disney World. No lie. He said so himself. My kid knows what an Imagineer is. My kid is the coolest kid on the planet.

What parents can look at their children -- biological or otherwise -- and not want to do everything in their power to help them grow strong and proud and wise and smart enough to make their own dreams come true?

I don't get it. I just don't get it.

Tell ya what, though...I sure hope the "parents" in these two fairy tales "get it".

I hope they get it where it hurts...HARD.