The Dr. seemed eager to explain in his practice he had seen children as young as 6 engaging in these activities and there for was justified in asking the questions. He went on to explain he had even had a father proudly pronounce he taught his son to smoke at this tender age but they "had done it outdoors" as if all the fresh air somehow changed the seriousness of it all.
I had a split second where I wanted to berate the man and argue that while it may be the way of the world, it isn't what is occurring in my home and the questions are uncomfortable. Instead I took a deep breath and said " I am sorry for all you have seen. It must be so hard to face that every day in your job." He looked somewhat surprised and we quickly moved on to my daughter's injuries.
It was uncomfortable as a parent to grasp this situation. It felt as if the questions themselves somehow tarnished the innocence of her childhood. It gave us the opportunity to talk about this, and to hear her voice how uncomfortable being asked these types of questions were for her. My youngest child's age of innocence is passing from us quickly and I find myself holding tightly to it, wanting to stretch out the before she is faced with all the things life brings as we age.
Even through all the hard things we have faced these last few years, my overwhelming feeling of gratitude that we live the life we have is ever present. The silliness of my uncomfortable reaction to questions at the hospital make me humbled because I know there are children who are far younger living in more dire circumstances. Take a look at the news of UN schools being bombed and it places into perspective my own life. It also makes me want to demand the leaders of the world make this a safer place for the innocents.
Being a mother has been my biggest teacher. It imparts to me compassion, perspective, how to lay down my posturing and exercise humility. Every moment of being a parent teaches me the grandest of life's lessons if I allow it to.
Thanks to each and every one of you who have been patient as I have gotten my family moved and settled. I hope you will continue reading and sharing your lives with me.