Your child is my childpublished: 2009-05-01
The moment you become a parent, you experience a shift in fundamental emotions. No longer can you bear seeing a child suffer, epsecially when that child is a victim of agression. The reason being: you identify. You now know. It’s an all encompassing knowing.
The other person’s child is your child who can’t sleep for a week because the Queen really is coming to the city. You and your child prepare: you practice the national anthem, you study pictures of the Queen and all the princesses, you make a little crown for your child out of orange carton and silver, perhaps you’ll add a few feathers. She’ll be wearing her cutest dress. Who knows, maybe if you get there early enough -before the crack of dawn- you might be able to position yourself in such a way that you can actually see the Queen and all the princesses as they drive by. And it would be your dream for them to notice your child, for them to wave at her, or even better: to come over and accept the drawing she’s made for them. You’ve packed sandwiches, drinks, cookies, diapers, pacifiers, sunblock and even though you’re exhausted you are almost just as happy as your child, simply for the fact that it’s endearing to see your child’s unashamed excitement. Only seconds before the royal family is about to glide by, grandpa (who is wearing his best Sunday pants) says, “I’ll put her on my shoulders.” It doesn’t matter that grandpa’s back hurts, the only thing that now matters is the exhaltation: the Queen really is about to come by.
A black car comes thrashing through the crowds. People fly through the air like bowling pins. So does grandpa. And your child. It’s become your child whose little stockinged feet you see on this picture. If only the newspaper hadn’t published it.