Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Difficult discussions

"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!
Roopa (http://rooparecipes.blogspot.com/)

4 comments:

Dee said...

yeah...just was reading this from yahoo...
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080313/ap_on_re_us/spitzer_talking_to_kids

one more cureveball for the parents I guess...

Dee said...

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080313/ap_on_re_us/
spitzer_talking_to_kids

Preston said...

There's a story playing on NY1 about an 11-year-old girl who campaigned for Spitzer, met him and corresponded with him, and whose graduation he promised to attend (she even appears to be South Asian). She's smart and savvy and disappointed--Spitzer had promised her he would work to eradicate drugs and poverty.

When her father is asked in the interview what he told her about what happened, he says, "money laundering." How's that for a Desi dad!

Roopa Unnikrishnan said...

It's not Desi dads, it's just a parent (mom/ dad, american/ indian/ australian, black/white/ brown/ green, whatever) trying ot figure out when and how and where to start explaining the complexities of human behaior. Aint's easy. Some make better choices than others, but the process is always a bit fraught with angst.