Teaching our children the ways of the world
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- Dead Baby Scam
- Nigeria 'baby farm' girls rescued by Abia state police
- N.J. birth moms divided on bill that would open up adoption records
In my house, we go through phases during which a particular singer/musical group will get played over and over and over again, until every one of the kids know the lyrics, and get at least 105 stories, from me.
Classics include: The Beatles, Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen, U2... and musicals, like West Side Story.
Lately, we're doing a revival of Les Miserable. My boys seem to really like it now, (especially the songs, "One Day More", and "Do You Hear The People Sing?"), now that they know it's a story about the French Revolution.
Well, in typical Mommy-Kerry-Fashion, I broke the disappointing news to them. Yep... just as I told them about the role of police and social services in fun songs, like Officer Krupke, I let them know a little more about Les Miz, unwed mother Fantine, and what would happen to the children who had no extended family to look out for them.
<collective groan from the peanut gallery>
Yes, kids... I DO love to tell a not-so-little story about the history of child placement, women's rights (or the lack there of), and public perception.
Enter the lyrics to At the End of the Day....
At the end of the day you're another day older
And that's all you can say for the life of the poor
It's a struggle, it's a war
And there's nothing that anyone's giving
One more day standing about, what is it for?
One day less to be living.
At the end of the day you're another day colder
And the shirt on your back doesn't keep out the chill
And the righteous hurry past
They don't hear the little ones crying
And the winter is coming on fast, ready to kill
One day nearer to dying!
At the end of the day there's another day dawning
And the sun in the morning is waiting to rise
Like the waves crash on the sand
Like a storm that'll break any second
There's a hunger in the land
There's a reckoning still to be reckoned and
There's gonna be hell to pay
At the end of the day!
[The foreman and workers, including Fantine, emerge from the factory]
At the end of the day you get nothing for nothing
Sitting flat on your butt doesn't buy any bread
There are children back at home
[WORKERS ONE AND TWO]
And the children have got to be fed
And you're lucky to be in a job
And in a bed!
And we're counting our blessings!
Have you seen how the foreman is fuming today?
With his terrible breath and his wandering hands?
It's because little Fantine won't give him his way
Take a look at his trousers, you'll see where he stands!
And the boss, he never knows
That the foreman is always in heat
If Fantine doesn't look out
Watch how she goes
She'll be out on the street!
At the end of the day it's another day over
With enough in your pocket to last for a week
Pay the landlord, pay the shop
Keep on grafting as long as you're able
Keep on grafting till you drop
Or it's back to the crumbs off the table
You've got to pay your way
At the end of the day!
[GIRL (Grabbing a letter from Fantine)]
And what have we here, little innocent sister?
Come on Fantine, let's have all the news!
[Reading the letter]
Ooh..."Dear Fantine you must send us more money...
Your child needs a doctor...
There's no time to lose..."
Give that letter to me
It is none of your business
With a husband at home
And a bit on the side!
Is there anyone here
Who can swear before God
She has nothing to fear?
She has nothing to hide?
[They fight over the letter. Valjean (M. Madeleine) rushes on to break up the squabble.]
Will someone tear these two apart
What is this fighting all about?
This is a factory, not a circus!
Now, come on ladies, settle down
I run a business of repute
I am the Mayor of this town
[To the foreman]
I look to you to sort this out
And be as patient as you can-
[He goes back into the factory]
Now someone say how this began!
At the end of the day
She's the one who began it!
There's a kid that she's hiding
In some little town
There's a man she has to pay
You can guess how she picks up the extra
You can bet she's earning her keep
And the boss wouldn't like it!
Yes it's true there's a child
And the child is my daughter
And her father abandoned us
Leaving us flat
Now she lives with an innkeeper man
And his wife
And I pay for the child
What's the matter with that?
At the end of the day
She'll be nothing but trouble
And there's trouble for all
When there's trouble for one!
While we're earning our daily bread
She's the one with her hands in the butter
You must send the slut away
Or we're all gonna end in the gutter
And it's us who'll have to pay
At the end of the day!
I might have known the bitch could bite
I might have known the cat had claws
I might have guessed your little secret
Ah yes, the virtuous Fantine
Who keeps herself so pure and clean
You'd be the cause I had no doubt
Of any trouble hereabout
You play a virgin in the light
But need no urgin' in the night.
She's been laughing at you
While she's having her men
She'll be nothing but trouble again and again
You must sack her today
Sack the girl today!
Right my girl. On your way!
My children often make fun of me and my orphan-orphanage-adoption stories... but my oldest, she understands a little more about the ways of the world, and how easy it is to find yourself pregnant after one night at a party.
I'm slowly teaching my oldest daughter about rape. There's date-rape, which she knows a little about. There's drunk careless sex (which is a form of rape, because informed consent cannot be given). There's pedophile rape, (a concept she grabbed, quickly, while reading Nabokov's "Lolita" ). And there's rape-rape... something I have difficulty discussing with her, (but she seems to get the message when she sees me tear-up, and get all emotional and uncomfortable).
It just so happens I found a neat piece written by an "exiled mother". I'm not sure how to present information like the following, to a very young woman who does not have to worry if she will be sent away, or not, for a mistake someone made....
I have been quiet for about a month now. I have been trying to sort through my feelings and processing the information regarding my own daughters adoption 22 years earlier. I needed to step away from my own story for a bit. I still haven’t retained all of my memories from that time. Maybe my subconscious knows that I have enough truth to deal with at this time and won’t release it until I can handle it.
I have been in an email reunion with my daughter for 3 years and the anniversary of us becoming Facebook friends is quickly approaching. In fact it is on the 22nd of this month. I have been feeling very down for over a month and that is what prompted me to look and see if there was some sort of anniversary that would cause this. It’s strange that almost all of my friends who lost children through adoption have this same issue. We all seem to have very strong reactions, even subconsciously, to anniversaries regarding anything to do with our lost children. Birthday’s are one of the worst for ALL of us, Mother’s Day, other holidays, anniversary of reunion all have such a powerful effect on us. I wonder if there is ever a time when any of us will be healed.
I was watching Dateline last night. There was a poor woman who was on there who was severely abused and raped by church members. She became pregnant and the pastor arranged an adoption for her child. I was so angry at the interviewer who said that she “gave up” her child. I was thinking the whole time “Didn’t you hear her? She didn’t GIVE HIM UP!” They, the church, MADE her give the baby to what they deemed a more appropriate/worthy family. I want to reach out to this young woman and see how she feels. I mean really feels about her child being forced from her. I know mothers who conceived through rape and they have all stated that rape was nothing compared to the trauma of losing their child to adoption. Maybe the child was the universe’s reconciliation for the rape…who knows…I ramble.
[From: Ramblings with a Dash of Adoption, April 9, 2011 ]
How does a parent
prepare teach her child, heading off to college soon, about this sort of stuff?
How do moms teach their daughters it is NOT OK to send "the unwanted" baby away, just so you may please, (and make it easier for), another person?
HOW? (How do I do it, without getting so personal, and emotional?)
How do we teach our daughters NOT to be martyrs or human sacrifices, because we DO deserve to be treated like God's Gift to the world? [How do we teach Women's Rights... to those who think "human rights" means every person should be given the right to have a job, a career.... MONEY, because money and social status is everything?]