May 3, 2002—Ground
Zero Plus 234
A Sore On My Penis!"
Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News
GROUND ZERO, New York City, May 3--It is a little shocking
at first to hear someone blurt out: "I've got a sore
on my penis!" It isn't something you hear broadcast
But when my soon-to-be
six-year-old grandson, Matt, announced the fact to me last night
while I and my wife and Matt's three-year-old sister, Sarah,
were playing a kids board came called CandyLand, I was struck
by the innocence of a child's sexuality.
Matt pulled down
his pants and showed me the sore spot. It wasn't
an act of exhibition or done to be silly or humorous.
He indeed had a sore. Earlier, when my wife was
giving the kids a bath, Matt had complained about the sore.
Apparently, the trousers he wears must have gotten smaller over
the school year. He attends a Catholic school where uniforms
are required, and the crotch of the trousers rubbed the skin
raw in his crotch area.
I looked at his "war
wound" and said, "Gee, Matt, looks like a raccoon
A few weeks ago we had been at a store that sells dinosaur artifices
and some real stuffed animals. One item that was
on sale was the bone from a raccoon penis, an needle-shaped
bone that looked like a chopstick with an eyelet at the end.
There was a bowl
of them sitting on top of the counter, with a sign in bold letters
that read, "raccoon penis $6." Matt had
taken one out and was examining it, just after he had studied
an Allosaurus dinosaur foot.
A few days later when we went to store again with his G-Ma and
aunt and sister, he had rushed to the bowl and held one up to
show his G-Ma. The store was packed with people as he
yelled, "Look, G-Ma, a raccoon penis for only six dollars!"
My wife and daughter
had blushed, and the owner of the store laughed.
The point of all this is
a reminder of how innocent a child is about his or her sexuality.
They call this period, "The Age Of Innocence."
It is the time when a child is unabashed about the most private
parts of the body, and, unafraid to speak of them unless the
child has been made to feel ashamed or guilty about his
or her private parts by parents or guardians.
Fortunately, Matt and Sarah
live in an environment where their sexuality is not shied on
by moral clouds, and they aren't felt to think there is something
forbidden or mysterious about heir nudity or the difference
between a boy and girl. While modesty is taught, it isn't
exaggerated or twisted so that the child shrinks from it.
At the same time, Matt
and Sarah are being taught to protect themselves from someone
invading their innocence. They are told by their parents
their bodies belong to them, and that no one can or should touch
them, and if they do or try to, they are to refuse or yell,
and to tell their parents or grandparents immediately.
They are also taught that there are "no secrets,"
encouraged to not keep them between themselves and any adults.
These concepts have been
heightened with the recent exposure of the child molestation
cases within the Catholic Church, but not limited to that event.
One of my daughter's closest friends, an older woman in he fifties,
was molested nightly by her father from age six until fourteen,
and suffers great emotional pain over it. My daughter
is aware of the dangers not only lurking in the vestibules of
the Church, but under the roofs of the most conventional households.
Her friend's father, for
example, wasn't a drunk. He was considered a "pillar
of society," one who might be considered "above the
salt." Meeting him and talking with him, and
looking at his "happy family," one might think him
a perfect father. But something was twisted in his character
such that he nightly robbed his daughter of her innocence, and
Terrorized her soul forever. Worse yet, it happened
while the other family members were present in the house, making
the victim's home a living hell where she could not trust her
mother or brothers to save her because she was fearful of being
rejected if she told them, and torn between the love-hate of
a senior editor at the New Republic, recently wrote an opinion
letter in the May 6 Time Magazine titled, "They Know Not
What They Do." It is about how the U.S. Cardinals
still forgot the children's safety and security in their statement
issued in Rome last week. The heart of his concern was
the guidelines issued by the Cardinals about
defrocking a child molesting priest. They said the
requirements for being defrocked include:," a priest who
has become notorious and is guilty of the serial, predatory
sexual abuse of minors."
Sullivan took justifiable
umbrage at the ideas of "serial," and "predatory,"
rightly claiming that one act against a child or young person
is "predatory," and that the Church which requires
a priest be a "serial" molester before dismissing
and/or defrocking him, invites yet more "under-the-rug"
stuffing of a horrible crime against a child's innocence.
Sullivan, a Catholic, was ashamed of the report. He cited
the main teachings of Jesus focused on the dignity of the vulnerable--children
central among them.
But what drives a child
into a closet of secrets such that it can be molested by another
and not speak out to its parents, or loved ones?
To me it is all about Vigilance.
Parents who try to "train
a child's behavior" by imposing shame or guilt on it for
certain behavior, drive a child into the caves of Terrorism.
One such way is to make the child frightened or guilty of his
or her sexuality rather than proud of it.
Matt and Sarah are proud
of being a girl and a boy because their parents have an open
attitude about their bodies and their sexual beings. They
also teach them about the privacy of their bodies, that no one
has the right to "touch them," and that there are
They are upholding the Age of
Innocence, not driving it away.
A Parent of Vigilance faces a
dilemma in this issue. If they were personally brought
up to be ashamed of their sexuality, or inhibited or intimidated
by it, it is likely they will pass that on to their children
unless they realize that by doing so they force the child into
"sexual darkness," a place where the child wonders
about things and seeks answers outside the family that are not
fraught by embarrassment, shame or moral lashes.
One of Sullivan's main thesis
in his opinion in Time is that celibacy removes from a priest
the healthy aspect of sex. Never experiencing a "normal
sex life," the priest and its hierarchy have no concept
of "sex itself," and yet cling to ancient rules of
celibacy that create unhealthy and abnormal reactions in its
The same can be said of many
parents who teach unhealthy attitudes about sexuality to their
children--the shame and guilt of sex. There are
those too who teach nothing, and turn their heads to the issue,
leaving their children to fend for themselves to try and figure
it out, making them vulnerable to
the wolves of the world who feed on the innocence of exploration.
There is also the false attitude
that "good people" don't do such things, and an unwarranted
trust by parents of any family member or close friend or authority
figure to protect the child's innocence with the same alacrity
that they might. Yet most statistics show that the
majority of molestation cases occur within the family, by family
members or "trusted friends."
Which is worse, a religious molesting
a child or a relative?
While the flap about the
Church dominates our consciousness, perhaps we need to use the
exposure as a time to become more Vigilant within our own homes.
Perhaps we need to reestablish our "sexual liaison"
with our children, and provide more concern over their ability
and freedom to speak to us about "private matters."
And, the issue can't wait
until puberty to be discussed.
Child molesters prey on the pre-pubescent.
They thrive on destroying the child's innocence.
They attack before parents have the chance to warn them, assuming
that a parent is going to avoid such discussions until it is
too late. And, they are right. Criminals always
take the "easy victims first." And what better
victim than a child whose parents don't communicate with them
about the "privacy of their sexuality," when they
But it goes deeper than that.
A Parent of Vigilance must first build trust with his or her
child from the first day forward. To do that, a Parent
of Vigilance must take the time to be "with the child"
in his or her Emotional World. They must see the
child's innocence as its most precious commodity, its most highest
"How do you feel?"
is the key question rather than "What did you do today?"
Discussing the feelings of a
child with a child, and, exposing your feelings to the child,
secures the bridge of trust between a parent and child.
It tells the child you're more interested in how the child feels
than in what the child does. You want to know the child's
insides, not just his or her outsides.
To accomplish this you need to
see the child as your innocence. Remember back when
you were innocent? Remember the hunger you
had to share that innocence with your parents, and, that terrible
feeling of the wall between the "child" and the "adult"
where you were afraid to speak your mind, or, told by your parents
that you were "silly," or "not to feel that way?"
But you did. And you slowly began to realize that
you couldn't tell your parents certain things...either they
were too busy to listen or just didn't seem to care...or didn't
grow up with Vigilant parents themselves and didn't know how
to be good parents.
That was when your Innocence
was lost. You lost it the day you felt Emotionally
And that's when the molesters leaped out of the bushes--the
Terrorists of your soul who made you feel ashamed, guilty, unloved,
forlorn. You cried alone in your room, wondering
why your parents didn't care, and were driven to pretend they
A Parent of Vigilance is one
who sees his or her child as he or she was once--thirsty to
share the world with his or her parents, eager to be loved unconditionally,
and desiring to learn how to navigate a world of many paths
Vigilance starts with you becoming
your child's best "Emotional Friend."
Once you crawl inside your child, and let your child crawl inside
you, you will find your own innocence waiting for you.
You will have a chance to preserve in them, what might have
been soiled and tainted in yourself.
Go To May 2--Oh, Where Have The
Commie Pinkos Gone?