Innocence of a Child

Hello, everyone!! Look at me go, two blog posts in one month. I’m getting better at this already! At least I think it’s been in one month… Close enough for government work, anyway. Since converting to nightshift, my days are so thrown off it’s a little unbelievable. I couldn’t remember what day it was yesterday, and was genuinely panicked for a few minutes. Was it Tuesday, or Friday? Maybe it was Saturday? This was triggered by the fact that someone forgot to turn Sonic’s lights out (on the weekends they stay open until 11, weekdays at 10).

But, you didn’t come here to read about that did you oh loyal readers of mine. So we’ll move on to talk about my daughter. Now, in the past I’ve talked about her a little, but I’m not sure that I’ve gone into great detail about her. My daughter is absolutely brilliant. Brilliant, and a bit of a smarty pants. Every day is a new adventure, and now that I’m working I’ve learned how to take advantage of what time we do have together, rather than take it for granted like I did before. Which brings me to today.

For her birthday, my daughter got a sandbox. She absolutely loves it, because it combines her three favorite things: Being outside, playing pretend, and getting filthy beyond all imagination. She asked if I wanted to play with her, and I did just that. We made sandcastles and moats, walls and bridges. I taught her how to make a wall to protect the kings and queens inside the castle. She looked up from her castle and said “Yeah, we have to protect the queens in the castle!” “Queens?” “Yeah! Two queens live in that castle, mama, and they’re married!” A bit later she finished another castle, and informed me that two kings lived in that castle, and they were also married. They also wore yellow dresses to match the flag on top of the castle.

While all of this was incredibly cute, and very sweet, I felt a strange sense of sadness and confusion. I’ll start with the confusion. My daughter is way too young to understand that what she just said is considered taboo and “wrong” to so many people in society. She doesn’t understand what she’s doing, or why she’s marrying two queens and two kings together. She doesn’t understand the bible, or know who Jesus is. Yet here she is with two queens and two kings in drag (I guess this would make them drag queen kings) (Badum tsh). How, if homosexuality is a choice, can a four year old girl pair them together without so much as a hesitation?

The sadness is a bit more obvious. As I looked on at my daughter’s innocent game of pretend, I realized that I needed to cherish this as much as I possibly could. One day, someone is going to try and beat that out of her, and shove religion down her throat. One day someone is going to try and tell her that marriage between two women, and two men, is wrong. One day, she’s going to understand bullying, and hatred, and bigotry. I’m going to try my best to make sure she’s on the right side of that line, but at the end of the day, she’ll make her own decisions and walk her own paths. That hurts more than anything else. As a parent, I want to protect her from the world, and shield her from the hatred and the negativity that awaits her. I want to hold on to that childish innocence, and paint a picture of a perfect world for her. I never want to lose the way her eyes light up over something small to us, but is magical to her. Inevitably, however, it will happen. My daughter’s heart will become hardened to the world around her, and she’ll be expected to conform to the status quo, or face a life of being picked on.

I remember being a kid, and there was a woman wrestler on television. She was absolutely gorgeous. They were showing nude pictures of her on the screen, but her breasts and genitals were covered by a black stripe. I stated “Why don’t they just uncover her?” My mother immediately dragged me to my room to ask me why I’d said that. I remember panicking, because I didn’t want to get in trouble. I remember thinking that I wanted to see her beauty in its entirety (except way more simple because I was a kid), but that clearly wasn’t the answer she was looking for. So, instead, I said “Mom, I’m not gay.” Growing up, any time a reference to me being a lesbian came up, my mother would respond “Please, don’t.” or something such as.

So, of course, when I start finding women attractive, I began to hate myself. I remember experimenting with a female friend of mine, and feeling so disgusting and ashamed of myself afterwards. I hated myself more and more each day, because I was becoming the one thing my mother practically begged me never to become, what society had told me was wrong. I was becoming what kids had been bullied or killed over, what major debates were being fought over… It got to the point where I cut, because I wanted my outside to look as ugly as I felt on the inside. How could I disappoint everyone around me so much?

Then I woke up and realized… Fuck them. Fuck society. What has society ever done for me except cause me pain, and cause me to hate myself? How does that make me a better person when I am filled with just as much hatred as they are? How does this benefit me? It doesn’t. Instead, my pain gave society a different way to laugh, to mock, and to kick me while I was down. I wasn’t a child in pain, I was an attention seeker. I wasn’t taking off from school because I was sick, I was taking off from school because I was gothic and it happened to be the anniversary of Columbine, so clearly I was planning something. My suicidal thoughts weren’t real, they were a way to get everyone to look at me and pay attention to me. All of the above is shit that was actually said to me at one point or another, by various people.

So it makes sense that I would want to protect my daughter from this world, but I know that isn’t fair. Because it doesn’t matter what the world thinks of you, or what society tells you is right or wrong. It doesn’t matter how many times my mother, or the world, begged me, I still grew up to embrace my bisexuality. No matter how many times I went to a Baptist church, I still converted to Paganism.

The only thing I regret is losing my child like innocence. What I mean by that is sometimes I envy my daughter for how she looks at the world around her. It’s all simple, beautiful, and magical. I wish I could see the world like that again. I wish I hadn’t been tainted by hatred and evilness.

I sort of went off on an entirely different tangent there, and I’m sorry for that. The message, I suppose, I’m trying to deliver to you now is be careful what you say, how you say it, and who you say it in front of. The phrase “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me” is untrue. Words have power. Words have more strength than anything else. Wounds will heal, but words will forever haunt you, and cut you with each time you remember them.

I know I’m going to make my own fair share of mistakes, and I know that I will create scenarios that will haunt my daughter just as mine haunt me. All I can really hope is, in the end, I will do right by her.

That’s it for today, folks. Sorry that went in a different direction that I thought it was, but apparently it needed to be said.

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