I love Charlotte's Web. At the risk of showing my age, I remember how excited I was when the VCR came out for home use. I remember this, not because I was an avid buff of all things technology but because it meant I could rent Charlotte's Web on video tape! (JOY!) And rent it I did! As soon as humanly possible! And I watched it over and over again as my precious 24-hour rental drew to a close. I even took my audio tape recorder and recorded the songs off the TV because I couldn't bear to return the video without a momento. It was a grand, memorable event.
Time passed and childhood treasures like Charlotte's Web were replaced with Tiger Beat subscriptions, Rick Springfield records (yes, records) and glittery hair care products. I grew up and away from my innocence as quickly as possible and was ultimately transformed into someone who secretly would like nothing better than to return to the inculpable child I once was. Of course that is impossible in the literal sense, but I find that through my son I can sneak back in time and live the world again through a child's eyes. It's an unbelievable gift and yet more proof of God's love. I try to honor that. I try to be a good mother in spite of knowing how miserably I failed at mothering my first child.
Some people are under the impression that having another child will replace the lost child and heal all the wounds. The truth of the matter is, you don't remove yourself from the pain of a failed parent-child dynamic by involving yourself in another one. It relates, and at times, it can be too close for comfort.
When my child is in pain, it cuts me to the core. Sometimes I shut off and become the void auto-matron I was at the abortion facility. My gears lock up, and I can do nothing but sit there waiting to reboot. It is stunning. For example, my child likes to roll himself tightly in blankets, and even though he is chronically claustrophobic, he cannot resist packing himself in a cottony cocoon. He did it just a few days ago and as soon as the last inch of quilt rolled over him he began to wail. This isn't just any ululation. It's a desperate cry coming from a tiny person hidden behind a veil: "Mama, MAMA!!! HELP ME, Mama!" I am never ready for this. I dissolve into tears at the blatant revelation of my relationship to him. I am his rescuer. I am the one he counts on for protection and safety. Through a dusty corridor of 7 years I hear the hollow ghost-voice of another of my children echoing, "Mama, MAMA!!!..."
Abortion has its collar on me, its fingers in the pot of my dealings with my child. It's always there, and I'm always trying to hide it. My son will not come out of this unscathed, but I endeavor to spare him every possible agony. I try to make his childhood happy. I try and remember my former life when abortion was last on the list of my perpetual thought agenda. I have been so psychically uncomfortable for so long that it takes earnest effort to rekindle the excited innocence of my past. But every now and again it comes from the gut.
Imagine my delight on perusing massive shelves of DVD's and finding Charlotte's Web among them. For an instant I was me again. Of course I plucked it off the shelf and spirited it home without delay. "You're gonna love this!," I said as I popped it in the player. My child sat riveted as Fern discovered the reason her father carried an ax out to the barn. As she begged for the life of a nursing runt pig, for the very first time I heard her ask, "If I had been very small, would you have killed me?" How could I have loved this story so much for so long and somehow never heard this? I went to the bathroom and cried aching for an alternate childhood where someone had instilled in me the truth about the value of human life and protecting the vulnerable. It did not happen for me, but all is not lost.
My son will know the truth. He will see it in the faces of mothers who are happier for having had their children and he will see it in the face of a childhood friend who would not be here if her mother had kept her abortion appointment. I will nurse him less on the obvious horror of abortion and more on the beauty of innocence and precious life.
May I find the strength to take what piece of unbruised heart remains and give it all to my living child. May God in heaven keep him from knowing in his own life the pain of parenting a child lost to abortion. And may he teach his children that Charlotte's Web is more than just a story about a frightened pig and a clever spider. Let the legacy of abortion end with me.
Tomorrow a tribute to our dear friend and "neighbor" Mr. Rogers...
:: ashli 11:47 AM # ::