L. made the mistake the other day of sharing with me a particularly awful story (these stories are an occupational hazard for her). About a woman being charged with making child pornography of her daughter, from the ages of 3 months to four years old.
When she told me, I was standing in the kitchen holding Lucy. I felt as if I'd been punched in the stomach. Literally. It was all I could do to keep standing up. As L. and Oliver went outside to play, I somehow moved around the kitchen making dinner, with sluggish legs and heavy heart. But I couldn't put Lucy down. I couldn't stop staring down at her perfect three month old body. At the way her eyes crinkle when she catches my eye and grins her toothless baby grin. At her big blue saucer eyes full of love and trust. And just then, the immensity of the depth of her complete and total faith in me, her mama, her source of safety and food and comfort, made me sick to my stomach.
Because I know that woman's daughter looked at her the same way. I know that by some accident of birth, my daughter will be kept safe and warm and cherished; and by the same accident, that woman's daughter will never know a childhood with that safety, that warmth, that feeling of being truly cherished.
My head knows that something too terrible for words must have happened to this woman to make her do such a thing to a baby, her child, the flesh of her flesh. My head knows that I should acknowledge that she, too, must be so, so broken.
But my heart, it is kicking the shit out of that woman in an alley somewhere, remorseless.