there but for the grace of god…

Français : où mène la Licence

Français : où mène la Licence (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Children the world over are often the victims of adult sexual fantasies, beginning with their immediate support group of relatives, friends, and family acquaintances. Whether such unwanted advances are seen through to fruition, i.e. sexual abuse, goes mostly unknown. After all, the fear of being “found out” is something a child instinctively knows will probably bode ill for him or her. Adults are to be believed; children are to be seen…and not heard…according to society’s dictum.

The recent escape of Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight from the evil clutches of a band of brothers in Ohio, reminds us of the hold adults can have over unsuspecting innocents.

How many among us have been propositioned by an adult to have sex? Even if we were clueless about the mechanics of such co-mingling, we had a hunch it wasn’t child’s play. The mere thought of an adult touching his private parts can give a child the creeps, to put it mildly. I think it’s more likely the child would want to…get the hell out of there…AND FAST…even while his feet feel as though they’re cemented in place.

Pairing an overbearing, sex-starved adult with a child whose brain cells are still developing and maturing is like pitting Goliath against David…minus his slingshot. A child can’t even begin to wrap his or her brain around the torrid looks and lurid obscenities directed at him or her. They’re like “deer caught in headlights.”

To say I was such a child is probably commonplace. Perhaps the streak of cynicism I developed while living in NYC had been lying dormant since childhood. My ears and 6th sense have always perked up when men have made suggestions I thought were definitely…queer.

The earlier children learn about the “facts of life,” the better. And I don’t necessarily mean the how-tos of sex and making babies. Although that IS an inescapable reality.

A good friend once told me when our children were toddlers that they wouldn’t absorb any serious information until they were 5. My feeling was, and continues to be, that children learn from the day they are born.

From birth we are like sponges waiting to soak up all that we can in order to make decisions…great and small.

Values…right and wrong…good and bad…moral and immoral…are taught by adults who should know better. Every word…every gesture leaves an indelible mark upon a child’s psyche…for better or worse.

It’s never too early…and it’s never too late…to remove those rose-colored glasses from a child’s eyes.

A little cynicism is like…a 1/4 teaspoon of ground red pepper with the juice of one lemon dissolved in hot water. A daily dose of this elixir keeps my metabolism revved…and overall inflammation under control.

With life-saving information…a child can be on the alert for sexual predators…without even knowing that her radar is set to high alert.

…better safe than sorry…my motto…IMG_4487

………hugmamma.

“george, who would be king”

Enjoyed another great night at the movies with close friends Sylvia and Jim. She and I were particularly keen to see “The King’s Speech.” Sylvia was a subject during the rule of George VI and was, therefore, very excited to see the film’s portrayal of England’s beloved monarch and his queen. Revisiting her homeland by way of the vivid photography was an added bonus. I’m a devoted fan of Colin Firth who acted the part of the king. But I too wanted to see what George VI was really like, the man beneath the crown. I’d heard of his speech impediment, but wanted to learn more about it, and how such an introvert as he, dealt with the problem. Our spouses were on the fence about the film, but decided to accompany us. They were both very happy they did.

Colin Firth did not disappoint, nor did Geoffrey Rush as the king’s speech therapist, Lionel Lough. Firth’s handling of the king’s prominent stutter was excruciatingly realistic. It pained me to watch him struggle to speak. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but the dilemma to form words and emit them naturally were so physically apparent. Firth’s eyes bulged and teared, beads of sweat sprung up on his forehead and beneath his squinting eyes. He seemed unable to breathe at times, the words sticking in his throat. I felt his dizziness, his nausea. I wanted to collapse alongside him, under the weight to speak publicly as the people’s sovereign, especially when he announced that England was joining the war against Hitler.

A great actor, but not necessarily a favorite of mine, Geoffrey Rush acted the role of Mr. Lough with eloquence and restraint. If you’re not well acquainted with Rush, you might remember him as Johnny Depp’s nemesis in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies, Barbossa, captain of the haunted ship, the “Black Pearl.” In this role and others previous, Rush seems verbose, wordy. In “The King’s Speech,” he spoke in reaction to Firth. The part of therapist was to encourage the king to speak, a lot.

As the story unfolded, it was apparent that Lough’s value to King George VI transcended the professional. Lough became mentor, confessor, friend, and “family” to the king. They remained so, for the rest of their lives. As is so like me, I shed silent tears here and there.

How sad that George VI’s difficult childhood contributed to his stuttering. How sad that his brother abdicated with little thought to the burden he was placing upon George, who would be king. But how wonderful that he had his wife and daughters, and Lionel Lough to love and support him throughout his reign. And, of course, the overwhelming love of a grateful people.

a beautiful and touching “fairytale,” deserving of an “oscar” for all involved…hugmamma.