penance.

Will the world find a way to be cruel? Discover a path to bully my daughter? Even though I have taken her away; tried to take her away from the ‘brick and mortar’ where children are cruel and bullies breed. Children can be cruel.

I know… because I was. We were. For no other reason than she let us. She never fought back. Wasn’t she confused, sick, wondering… “why?” Look at us now, these 30 years later.  You would never guess to look at us, now. I can’t apologize. I wouldn’t be able to hold up my head long enough to look at her. I wasn’t the only one there, not the only one at the table, or in the locker room; not the only one laughing.  No excuse. Why couldn’t I see how cruel we were? I can only hope her life turned out better than better, hope she forgot all about us.

Will the world return the bitterness? I fold my daughter’s less-than-stylish clothes and wonder if some less-than-kind child will be snide or rude. And will my daughter feel that sick knot of confusion? Will it pummel her confidence? She’s safe now, in the fold of our homeschoolers, but what of the rest of the world?

This is how a mother worries. A mother who feels she lacks power. A mother who abused power when she was a girl.

May her life be better than better.

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