I sit my two year old son, Gavin, on my lap just after he bumps his head on the coffee table in the living room. I tell him, ‘Gavin, you need to be careful of your head. You need what’s inside your skull. You don’t yet understand just how important it is to protect what you have. Love you buddy.’
Gavin then jumps from my lap, grabs a Dino, and makes a loud roaring sound. And off he goes. I know that Gavin doesn’t fully understand what I’m telling him. But what I believe he feels is a caring tone. We’ve (Megan and I) repeated this hundreds of times. If not thousands. We’re teaching him to care for himself. We’re teaching him to love himself. Something I didn’t learn to do until my mid thirties.
I made a decision before Gavin was born to forgo the growth of my career to be the care giver to my son during the week. A decision I know to be the correct one for myself and my family. The best parenting advice in the world comes down to two words. Be there. My career, which I built, can be built again. The one chance I have to be the best father possible, is now.
As I continue to observe Gavin’s growth and development I often think of children who do not have a guardian that’s acting in their best interest. I think of guardians who hit. Who scream. Who sexual and mentally abuse children. I hope you bump into these words if you are among that ilk. It’s you. It’s not the child. It’s you and you need help. Stop hitting. Stop screaming. Stop abusing and turn yourself in. You won’t. You’re too weak. It’s your weakness that owns you and you aren’t intelligent enough to know what to do with it.
If you are a child that somehow reads these words. It’s not your fault. It never was. It never will be. This isn’t a promise for you to keep- to protect them any longer. Turn them in. They are killing you.
If you are a parent or guardian that suspects something has affected your child, ask them. Right now. Do not wait. If you don’t ask, no one will. NO ONE.
Abuse of a child runs rampant in all countries. All societies. If you are an adult that witnesses abuse, step in. That very moment. That child may never have another chance.
It’s 4:30 AM and I’m shivering while writing this. My son just woke up, upset, and needing attention. Megan or myself is always there for him. With endless, us. I wish every child had this. Unfortunately I know this to not be the case.
Enjoy your coffee.