This evening we attended our city's 16th annual Take Back the Night. It was important for us to have SS be a part of the march, because we want her to be aware as young as possible that NO ONE has the right to lay a hand on her. Likewise, she does not have the right to hurt anyone. Of course she is only four and like many kids she may use her hands to push, throw and shove. We stop her and remind her that hands are for caressing, applauding, coloring, drawing, making beautiful music; there are so many good things for our hands to do. The one thing hands should never be used for is for hurting. For SS it was a golden opportunity to ride on Mama's back (which made her Baba furious because I have no business carrying her *) and shout at the top of her lungs. The whole idea is to get her used to the message, to become aware and eventually to become involved.
They had a lot of booths and activities for kids, but we arrived around 6:30 p.m. when the kid friendly things were winding down. SS did have time to pose with her old friend Darth Vader and the Storm Troopers. This was not SS’s first encounter with these characters, the first time she was barely 21 months old. I did not take pictures then, because I expected her to freak out and kept my hands ready to shield my baby from life long trauma. SS was wearing the same pink jacket then that she was wearing today (last pic). Her Auntie C gives her clothing that really lasts.
Our friend D met us there and was cracking up about SS's lack of fear of Darth Vader and the Storm Troopers. D was there for SS's first trip to the pumpkin patch and witnessed how our girl freaked out when she saw normal pumpkins. D has been on deck to baby sit SS since we came home. We could not accept her kind offer initially because of our need to solidify the nuclear family concept with SS. Then the attachment issues made us put those plans on hold again. It looks like SS and D will have a play date soon.
P did not even attempt to take a picture of the crowd because I did not bring the good camera. Our purse camera is beneath P. I think it is so cool that SS is four years old and still loves her Ergo.
We never intended SS to remain for the survivor talk. She came in the room with us, and met some of my classmates and instructors. But we did not want her to be exposed to the raw emotions and reactions that we knew the survivors' journeys would elicit. When things began to get heavy P quietly exited with SS. For once we thought ahead and brought her Buzz quad. SS rode it for a while, then she and Baba went to visit with some of Baba's coworkers who were dining nearby.
* I do know that I should not be schlepping SS around at this time. However, it was very important to me to do the very short march carrying SS. There are some things a girl needs to do with her Mama.