Friday, February 6, 2004

I'm just heartbroken. That 11-year-old girl's body was found this morning in Florida.

I'm just so upset... you know, I remember being a kid -- I'm 37. I had freedom that my children will never have.

I remember taking my 25 cent allowance to the neighborhood store, around the corner and 3 blocks away, with my little sister in tow, to spend it on candy and comic books.

We played outside - tag, freeze tag, blindman's bluff. We ran around the neighborhood, climbing on roofs and wandering in the overgrown wilds of empty lots. We played baseball in the lot behind my house. We rode our bikes. We went to the park.

In fourth grade, I used to walk around the block to my best friend's house, alone. And now, I can't imagine allowing my girls to walk to the corner store alone when they're 9 or 10.

How is it that these things have happened? An over-sexualized culture? Rampant pornography? A failure to sentence pedophiles properly? I think rather than wasting space on non-violent offenders, each and every person who sexually abuses a child should be locked up at least twenty years, with life parole and complete electronic monitoring upon release. A second offence should be life with no parole.

I resent the fact that my children will never experience the childhood that I was blessed with.

My heart breaks for that child and those parents. I cried to hear the news and looked at my own precious ones sleeping.

I had to control tears the other day as I struggled to find the words to explain to the older one -- we're moving up to the next age appropriate level of reasons why it is essential to stay close to mommy when we're out somewhere -- about the different kinds of people in this world.

To break a child's innocence, so sickening. We had our first bathing suit area talk the other day.

Now I'm in a bad mood. I should take a few deep breaths, light candles and say prayers... for us and for that poor family.... for all of us.

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