Dear little P,
I am so sorry I went all “Captain Fantastic” on you the other night. I meant well. I swear that I did, but I fear I made you afraid, and that is not what I intended. To pass on my fear to you. Never.
It started out innocently enough. We were laying in bed, pillow talk, about life, as we usually do. You asked about whether I would ever have another baby and I told you about my Tubal Ligation. I went into everything in great detail, the fallopian tubes, the womb, the eggs, the clamps, everything. And that was fine. If we had stopped there, no harm done. No foul. But I continued to speak. Which is sometimes a bad decision of mine. And we dove deeper into how babies were made. I told you about sex and penetration. We talked about how all vaginas and penis’ are different. Fine. No problem there. But then…but then…I told you about RAPE. You asked what it was. I said when a man forces himself on a woman. And you started crying, saying you never wanted that to happen to you. And I started crying because I didn’t want that to ever happen to you too. And then I was crying because I saw how afraid of the world you became in one instant.
I finally helped you calm down by assuring you that the world was a safe place and that we would learn boxing and martial arts so that we could always be safe and strong and that it was okay to tell people NO and GO AWAY and LEAVE ME ALONE. That is wasn’t rude or mean to take care of your body. And then you were okay.
Until the morning.
You cried again before school because you were scared of being raped. My heart dropped. I knew I had inherited you my fear. In my desire to protect you I had traumatized you. You were too young. It was inappropriate. But what could I do? I held you again and repeated that the world was a safe place and we would always be strong.
Then you asked me if I had ever been raped.
And I paused.
And I said no.
You were so relieved you fell into my arms with a sigh and said that made you so happy.
We walked to school and it has not come up again.
At least in that moment, I held my tongue.
There will be a time and place for that conversation.
Just not now.
I love you fiercely.