*This blog does not condone violence against children or violence period. The following is the raw emotional story being told as a reminder that we are all susceptible to reaching our breaking point.*
The playground- a child’s wonderland.
Of course my five year old was thrilled when our campsite backed up to one this year.
Less than 50 feet away without an obstructed view.
At last, I could relax while simultaneously keeping my child entertained! 😍
Or so I thought…
Karissa is the tiny, little, perfect human who changed my entire world.
Read My untraditional fairy tale for more on my introduction to motherhood.
My baby will be SIX years old in just over a month!!! 😳
Where has the time gone?!?!
I feel like with my first child I was trying so desperately hard to just keep her ALIVE that I was unable to really ENJOY every minute of it.
When I found out I was pregnant for the first time I was a 20 year old alcoholic.
After eight years of recklessness, my sobriety didn’t come without a price tag.
I’d been branded by the trauma of my past…. now without anything to numb it.
But this baby was ‘the one thing that would never leave me’
She was SO worthy of my sobriety.
I’ll never forget that confusing moment when we closed our car doors to leave the hospital with our firstborn.
We shared the, “Are they really just giving us a human and saying, “Here you go! Good luck!‘?!” face…. ha.
When my Sassy little one year old, Havynn (pronounced Hay-ven) was born, it was the same insanely beautiful moment but one that I was definitely more prepared for.
This time, I’d have the tools…
The experience… to not lock us up in an apartment for almost a year- attempting to ensure that nothing would ever happen to her.
My anxiety and depression became redundant after the delivery of my first.
Not only was I a new Mom, I was also in my first year of sobriety.
My image of the world was that of the life I submitted myself to at my worst.
Sunlight…fresh air…both were contributors to deafening panic attacks.
Some days even opening the blinds would seem like “reckless behavior” to my crazy mind.
If we never went outside then nothing bad could happen…
Hiding so that “the evil in the world” wouldn’t break in and hurt us…as it once had.
Havynn has had a much different upbringing.
I learned a lot in the process of doing it once.
Through trial and error, “navigating the ropes” of motherhood.
It’s a process of constant learning.
Learning which rules are worth the battle and which ones are just plain stupid.
Using that knowledge as you start again with your second.
You trust yourself more…
You know that you’ve done this before and that YOU CAN do it again.
It’s a comforting feeling of success that helped me in seeing life more realistically the second time around.
Proceeding with confidence now.. my kids are experiencing a lot of things for the first time together.
I can make plans, but only God can make them happen.
Back to the camping trip. ⛺️
Havynn didn’t go camping with us this year.
Karissa was playing her heart out at the playground as I began chopping veggies for foil packets on night two.
It was Friday so kids to play with were finally arriving!
Peeking over my shoulder every couple of seconds to check in on her when I overheard the boys at the playground yelling,
“YOU ARE DIRTY!”
Said one of the boys, as he threw a handful of dirt and rocks in another child’s face.
The boys, who appeared to be around ages 5 and 7, were playing distastefully rough for my liking….
I didn’t have a good feeling about them and didn’t really want my child over there.
Taking measure to avoid overreacting, I ran it by my husband.
“Babe I don’t think those boys are playing very nicely….”
And contrary to my assumption he brushed it off… 😳
‘Okay I must be overreacting.’
As the sun began to set we welcomed our friends who had just arrived.
I excused myself of “security keeping” for a minute to greet them when my mom’s frantic voice struck down on me like lightning.
“HEY STOP IT!! THEY ARE HITTING HER!!!”
My baby is in danger
The world went red as reality washed away around me.
My heart shattering like never before as I chased my daughters cries…
How was this happening?!?!!
I peeled my screaming daughter off the ground….
It’s a feeling that no one prepares you for…
The pain in her eyes igniting an uncontainable RAGE in me… 💔
The boys were attempting to flee as I forced them into a halt.
“DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT RUNNING!!!!”
I demanded, in a tone capable of setting off car alarms.
They paused and gazed up at me with sheer terror painted across their faces.
“WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?!?!?!?!”
I was sweating… screaming….shaking.
There was nothing I wanted more in that moment than to make those boys experience the same pain that they had put my child through.
It was a foreign, overbearing outburst of pain that could have ended completely catastrophically.
I thank God for giving me control that I didn’t have in me at that moment.
Control to not KILL two children- something I never dreamed of ever needing control for.
“Take me to your parents, NOW!”
My husband caught up with us as I hysterically caught him up to pace with what was going on.
We were headed for parents who were nowhere in sight, even with all of the commotion going on.
Were these parents even going to care…?!
Their physical lack of presence and the fact that their children are beating other children up didn’t give me a favorable first impression.
Everything about this situation made me angry.
Fifteen seconds into our mission we were intervened upon by a bystander who defended that they were “probably just playing”.
Karissa was too shaken up to verify what I had not seen with my own eyes.
Taking a deep breath as I whispered a prayer.
“I didn’t see what happened so I’m not going to waste any more time on this…
Violence is absolutely unacceptable and it will not be tolerated.
Remember that someone is always watching.”
I declared, as we turned to go back to camp.
Advice I needed to hear myself as well.
Per Karissa’s request, we would wait to discuss the incident until we got home.
If the boys were at the playground, we would go to the river or animal farm instead.
When the time came to have that heart to heart, she confirmed that the boys had punched her multiple times… not playing but in an effort to hurt her.
That admittance made me break into a million pieces all over again.
Tears poured down my cheeks as I held her tightly, apologizing repeatedly for failing to keep her safe.
Karissa is thankfully doing just fine.❤️
She remains the little “angel in my ear”,
Lord…what do you want me to learn from this?
This was an experience that required some self reflection after.
Inflicting the same pain on those boys would have accomplished nothing aside from creating an even bigger monster inside of them.
I saw a side of myself that I didn’t know was in there.
A side angry enough to almost put my hands on someone’s child.
Please remember that it’s not fair to judge how someone reacts in a situation until you’ve been in that situation yourself.
I’m telling you this because THIS COULD BE ANYONE!
I’ve never really imagined how I would react if this type of thing happened but even if I had, my prediction wouldn’t have been accurate.
Planning lacks emotion.
There is literally no pain worse than when your child is in pain.
When I agreed to bring a life into this world I also agreed to do absolutely everything in my power to keep them safe.
I’ve learned that no matter how hard we try to keep our kids safe, their safety is never guaranteed.
We can make plans, but only God can make those plans happen.
It’s not worth wasting your life trying to avoid all risk…
Your story has already been written and your future is inevitable.
Instead of hiding from your fears, pray about them.
Exercise caution as appropriate but live life FEARLESSLY.
That is something that you ARE in control of.
Check out my blog Project Identity for more❤️