"So, what did spitter do?", asks K, my 4-year old son. The hazards of ubiquitous TV and passing grown-up conversations is that sometimes, the ugliness of public behavior is suddenly thrust on the consciousness of lil' ones. "A bad man", I said, then, "a man who did a bad thing"... clearly not thinking that one through. Of course, that meant that the kids followed up with, "what kind of bad thing." I was able to end the discussion by saying, "he made a lot of people feel bad that they trusted him", and then I challenged them to a race to the toy cupboard, and spent the next hour playing I Spy.
There are the giggles in staff meetings about what Specter paid for his trysts, but it's hard for me not to think about the awful stories of young girls plucked from their families and forced into prostitution. The horribleness of this upsets me, especially as it gets to be discussed more as some kind of antiseptic step in the political chess game. My years serving on the Sakhi board has sensitized me to the many ways that abuse happens. Some day, there's a conversation to be had with my twins, about right and wrong, about victims of crime who become part of the crime, and abuse. I don't want that day to come!