A mom was late dropping her daughter off this morning because her neighborhood was full of police officers and reporters when she tried to leave. Her neighbor had beaten his girlfriend within an inch of her life. She escaped and ran across the street for help. The door she knocked on was covered in blood by the time help arrived. My mom works at the women’s shelter. She says they’ve had to pull extra couches in lately because so many women have been coming in and there aren’t enough beds for them all. So many women are fearful enough of being murdered at the hands of their partners that they are opting to sleep on couches in an overcrowded safe house. I know American women have it better than lots of women in lots of places. I know that, as a healthy white woman, I have it better than lots of American women. But it’s not enough to keep me from living in fear that the next news story I read will be about someone I know or a woman I love will end up sleeping on one of those fucking couches.
How do I explain to my daughter that, in her lifetime, she will almost definitely know and love someone who will be seriously hurt at the hands of a man? How do I keep her from becoming one of those women? How do I keep fighting the urge to put her in a fucking Rapunzel style tower?
Poppy is singing in her sleep. One month from tomorrow, she will be three years old. She didn’t nurse tonight. She just wanted me here. I finally climbed into bed with her after listening to her cry to Cody for fifteen minutes. She snuggled next to me and said, “I crying I want my mommy.” Fuck all, man. That tiny voice relaying those great big needs is so much. It’s everything. And it makes it all worth it. Labor pains and airports and rain boots left behind on the streetcar. It’s nothing, man. It means fucking nothing, because she means everything.