Sunday, April 01, 2012

Separate Cars

Today I walked through the grocery store parking lot with Katarina holding my hand.

"I'm the mom, doesn't that mean I control everything?" I teased. She disagreed. We were laughing and skipping. 

We saw the police car. An upset man standing at the back of the car, making a phone call. A police officer standing at the front of the car talking to a little girl. 

"Was this the first time it happened?" 

"Yes, sir." As she nodded, the pink barrettes in her hair jiggled and sparkled. 

The officer nodded at us as we passed. I noticed a black car parked next to his cruiser, with the back door ajar and two smaller children sitting on the seat.

The air conditioning was cold as we entered the store. Katarina explained why block cheese is better than sprinkle cheese. Chips were buy one, get one free. There was a difference of opinion about how much ice cream is enough. 

The table by the checkout line that held orchids for the past month had lilies. Every aisle seemed to be adorned with fuzzy bunnies and pastel colored candy proclaiming Spring is here.

I shoved coupons and receipts in my purse, pausing just a moment to consider cleaning it out when we got home.

Walking through the parking lot, I concentrated on balancing the bags I was carrying. 

A scream. Terror, anger, confusion. I turned my head to see that a second police car had arrived while we were in the store. It only took a second for me to understand the scream - they were putting them in different cars - the man with the phone was being escorted to the first car, and the three children were being taken to the second one. 

Separate cars. I could hear the crying as Katarina and I walked hand in hand across the cracked lot. 

"Mom, you are hurting my hand. Hold it, don't squeeze it!"

"Sorry honey. I didn't mean to squeeze so hard. I just wanted to hold onto you tightly, because I love you."

*******************

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month.
-Get involved in child abuse awareness and prevention
-If you suspect that a child is being abused, or if you are a child or teen who is being abused, you can call the National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-CHILD.

teal ribbon for sexual assault awareness month
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
-Get involved in sexual assault awareness and prevention.
-If you have been the victim of sexual assault and need help, or you want to help a loved one, you can call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE.


25 comments:

  1. dude. what a thing to have to see.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oof. Heart and stomach clenched all at once.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I've been the child being escorted to the second car. It's not something I'd ever want to witness or have anyone else experience.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so sorry you were once that child, Chantel. It isn't something I would wish on anyone.

      Delete
  4. Oh, the poor little babies. I wish I could hold them all and kiss their noses and tell them they are loved to the moon and back. Which is pretty much what I do to every kid that I ever meet. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope they have someone in their life who is doing this exact thing for them.

      Delete
  5. Oh Tracie ... heartbreaking! :(

    I committed to joining a challenge and made it a little harder on myself by committing to writing fiction. I'm still struggling a bit to find my story but this is what God gave me for *A* http://www.bethszimmerman.com/2012/04/01/afraid/ I wasn't even aware that it was Child Abuse Prevention Month. (I stole your ribbon.) I just prayed for words and these were the ones God gave me. Chills!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Allie's Story is amazing. Everyone needs to read it.

      Delete
  6. Tracie, this was grippingly written and heart-breaking.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. It was a heart-breaking moment, and the writing really helped me to process.

      Delete
  7. :( So sad. I'm sorry you had to see it - but I would have held my daughter tightly as well. ((hugs))

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hugs to you. It was a scary and sad thing to see.

      Delete
  8. Sounds as though your daughter missed the whole thing. Thank God. Children cannot stay innocent long enough. :-(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It flew right over her head, thankfully.

      Delete
  9. That's tough but I am glad that she missed most of it. It does make you want to hold on a little (or lot!) tighter.

    So proud of you!
    Traci

    ReplyDelete
  10. Child abuse awareness/prevention and sexual asault awareness/prevention should be in our minds right along with teaching our kids to read...longer than a month....but it certainly is a start. I am grateful for you sharing your story. important topic...well written.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Very well written. A chilling reminder of what goes on in the world every single day.

    ReplyDelete
  12. So beautifully written. And then the tears. I'm sorry that both of you had to see that. Good and healing thoughts.

    Kate

    ReplyDelete
  13. Crying for those children and for all the abused children that continue to be ignored and live with the abuse daily because no one ever rescues them. Thanks for sharing this.

    ReplyDelete