INNOCENCE LOST

INNOCENCE LOST?

Have deviants always raped small children or is that something peculiar to society today? It seems to happen often now. Right here in Smalltown, Oklahoma, a young, not unattractive man, raped a nine-month-old baby girl. He was her mother’s boyfriend and was baby-sitting, left alone to protect the child.

A man sentenced to die in Oklahoma (execution delayed by problem with the lethal injection meds) had raped and murdered a one-year-old girl.

Is this new––this lack of regard for innocence––or have these perversions occurred in other places and throughout history, neither reported nor discussed?

Lines of cars at local schools deliver and pick up children who live mere blocks away. The schools are securely fenced, gates padlocked to prevent intrusions, also the ingress or egress by everyday parents, students, and pedestrians.

Bicycle racks sit rusting, abandoned and unused. Thus protected from natural exercise, American kids battle obesity.

With both parents working, I walked my older grandchildren to school. Now, however, with the newer batch, we cannot cut across the school grounds. We have to walk two additional blocks around to enter the front door of the schools and register.

One afternoon, when my own children were in elementary school, they complained that some of my daughter’s eighth-grade male classmates were harassing them on their way home. I loaded our baby boy in his stroller and walked over to supervise. I took my trusty paddle. School personnel had stopped using corporal punishment. I had not.

When I arrived at the trouble spot, I laughed at my own silliness. The “naughty boys” rode their bicycles round and round the moving, giggling gaggle of girls, flirting. Their methods not yet refined, the boys did it clumsily, but the efforts were recognizable.

Embarrassed by my arrival, my daughter and her cronies introduced me to two new girlfriends, and to the “annoying” boys.

I smiled and we visited a minute before my daughter said, “Mom, what are you doing here?”

“You complained about the boys giving you a hard time on the way home. I came to check on you. I didn’t realize you were just dealing with grown up young men trying to get your attention.”

“Yeah,” the biggest boy, the son of an acquaintance of mine, said, and he grinned like he was embarrassed. “You won’t tell my mom about this, will you?”

“No.” I couldn’t help smiling. When had I gotten to be such an old fraidy cat?

Normally, I do not assume evil motives. News coverage of horrendous behavior has changed my American naivete to fear. I think that’s a shame.

Contemplating how we are changing, I wrote my most recent novel, JINGO STREET. It is about a modern American thug and the society that created him. It’s sort of a modern day love story. You can find it at http://tinyurl.com/mkt2tz2

Sharon

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About sharonervin

I write novels for and about women. I work half-days in my husband and son's law office. A former newspaper reporter, I have a B.A. in journalism from the University of Oklahoma. I have four grown children.
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