Protecting the Gift discussion - ch. 3 Worry - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 31 Old 01-09-2009, 08:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hello everyone!

We're on chapter three in our discussion of the book Protecting the Gift by Gavin DeBecker. If you're new, feel free to get caught up with us and join in the discussion.

-------------------------------

Chapter three was about worry. How did the things you worried about change when you became a parent? How does worry affect your parenting?

What stood out to you in this chapter?

ch 4 thread - http://www.mothering.com/discussions....php?t=1028100

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#2 of 31 Old 01-10-2009, 03:55 AM
 
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I have a saying that my 10 yr old dd rolls her eyes at -- "It is a mother's job to imagine terrible things." You cannot keep your children safe from danger unless you can imagine the danger -- that is a point this chapter makes.

But nothing is worse than worry. I converted to Catholicism a few years back and there is a line added to the Lord's Prayer in our Catholic services that I never heard in United Church services or read in my protestant bible: "keep us free from all anxiety." I can't think of anything better to pray for. Anxiety/worry sucks the life out of a person.

I used to worry about things to do with my parents' health, my dh's job, my own job. After having children, I think I worry less, honestly. I am too busy. One thing I do really stress out about is my dh and children going somewhere in the same car without me. What if a single accident wiped out every reason I have to live?

So I related in a way to the mom who wanted to to be in the plane with her daughters so that if there was a plane crash, they wouldn't be left alone.

The most important point in this chapter for me was on page 54

"True fear...will be based upon something you perceive in your environment or your circumstance. Unwarranted fear or worry will always be based upon something in your imagination or your memory."

For me, also, anxiety/worry has more of a fever pitch, feels more frantic. Real fear or intuition of real danger, the few times I've felt it in my life in de Becker's sense of the word, is a lot calmer -- one is just too busy acting or reacting to feel hysterical, ime. The adrenalin rush is a less emotional feeling than that worry that makes you feel you can't sleep, that makes you feel sick in your guts.
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#3 of 31 Old 01-10-2009, 01:32 PM
 
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I just had to chuckle at the funeral directors story...I grew up with a Peds nurse for a mother...

I just had a kid who came into the ER because he/she (insert dangerous thing I wanted to do here)

It was part of my life

However I needed to be dying in order to not have to go to school

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#4 of 31 Old 01-10-2009, 04:14 PM
 
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Moving to Media
Please start new discussions on this book in Media- Thanks!!

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#5 of 31 Old 01-10-2009, 08:00 PM
 
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#6 of 31 Old 01-10-2009, 11:03 PM
 
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#7 of 31 Old 01-10-2009, 11:36 PM
 
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I'm actually going to move you into the Book Club forum. Have a great discussion, mamas!

Flowers, fairies, gardens, and rainbows-- Seasons of Joy: 10 weeks of crafts, handwork, painting, coloring, circle time, fairy tales, and more!
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#8 of 31 Old 01-10-2009, 11:49 PM
 
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DH is reading this with me and thinks he can use a lot of the info in here for his woman's self defense class...most are mothers and he thinks he can adapt this info for the 'talk' parts of his class.

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#9 of 31 Old 01-11-2009, 01:13 AM
 
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subbing ... It's been about a year since I read this book, and I'd love to be a part of the discussion.

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#10 of 31 Old 01-11-2009, 06:29 AM
 
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I've read this book over a year ago and I'd like to take part in the discussion.

I'll come back tomorrow with more thoughts on Chapter 3.

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#11 of 31 Old 01-11-2009, 09:34 PM
 
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How did the things you worried about change when you became a parent? How does worry affect your parenting? What stood out to you in this chapter?
When I became a parent, I was overwhelmed with worrying about every single little thing. And worried that I would overlook something else I *should* be worrying about.

What stood out to me most in this chapter was the thought that my constant worrying was like static that drowned out my instincts about things that *should* make me nervous. To me, it felt sooooo freeing to stop worrying about an imaginary bogeyman. Instead, I now have specific tools I can use to evaluate situations that make me uncomfortable. And I have a specific list of signs to watch for - so very helpful.

PS - I saw Doubt this afternoon, and I have to say I watched the whole thing through my "PTG filter." Anyone else seen this yet, and feel the same way?

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#12 of 31 Old 01-12-2009, 11:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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DeBecker says in the chapter that a parent's number one fear is that their child will be kidnapped by a stranger. Have you found this to be the case in your own life? Is that something you worry about?

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#13 of 31 Old 01-12-2009, 01:42 PM
 
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DeBecker says in the chapter that a parent's number one fear is that their child will be kidnapped by a stranger. Have you found this to be the case in your own life? Is that something you worry about?
I am waaaayyy more concerned about molestation. Kidnapping has never really concerned me. I've always realized that it's the people closest to you that can do the most harm. It's what happened to me.

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#14 of 31 Old 01-12-2009, 06:10 PM
 
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My worries are actually more related to things that have happened in my family/life than not.

A relative's preschooler escaped from a rural back yard and died of exposure shortly before my first child was born , so I worry about locking doors when I have a toddler around, going camping, to visit on farms, etc.

I have had 3 pg losses and know someone who had multiple stillbirths, so I agonize over pregnancy loss when I am pregnant.

My dd and I had a serious miscommunication about where she was supposed to be playing and she was missing for 45 minutes once (the police found her.) She thought she had permission to be where she was and didn't realize we were looking for her. 45 min is a long time, and something just broke in me during those minutes

Even though it ended well, it was the worst experience of my life -- I could have lived my entire life without looking at my dh and saying "We can't find her. We need to call the police, now.", without giving the police a description of my child.... ...when I saw dd ok, I just broke down and cried uncontrollably for HOURS....Just typing about it is making me cry

I now have zero defenses against my worry about dd going missing and I *need* to feel like I know where dd is and can get in touch with her at all times. She now carries a cell phone and we are in very close communication now. I joke sometimes that if it ever becomes socially acceptable to have microchip locaters implanted in one's children, I'll be first in line (but I fear I'm not really completely joking :.

It is not so much a worry about stranger abduction, per se, though I guess that is a big fear that is part of it, just a worry of losing my child and not knowing where he/she is. THe fear of not knowing. It must be AGONY for parents whose children are truly missing.

I intellectually know about the risk of sexual abuse to children, but I take my precautions without worry because it hasn't been part of my experience, if that makes sense.
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#15 of 31 Old 01-12-2009, 06:36 PM
 
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DeBecker says in the chapter that a parent's number one fear is that their child will be kidnapped by a stranger. Have you found this to be the case in your own life? Is that something you worry about?
This is a fear of mine but I know it's non logical. When we first moved to downstairs apartment I was so afraid hat someone would climb into their room and steal them. I *KNOW* this is not likely at all to happen but I can't stop thinking about the kids who it DId happen to.
I worry that someone is gonna say it was my fault for not worrying enough, for not protecting them enough, for letting them play unsupervised, for posting on blog, for belonging to freecyclce for I don't know living life and exposing them to the world...
I am afraid of being blamed for not being not being a good enough parent.

Yet..I don't let these paralyze us. I continue on and don't let on about the fears b/c I know they are unreasonable.
My kids have no idea that I'm worried about them being stolen. My kids live freely and I secretly worry so at least hopefully I wont pass on the worry tendency.

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#16 of 31 Old 01-12-2009, 08:17 PM
 
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DeBecker says in the chapter that a parent's number one fear is that their child will be kidnapped by a stranger. Have you found this to be the case in your own life? Is that something you worry about?
I worried (illogically) about this a lot before I read PTG, which as I said, calmed my illogical worries a bit.

Then, remember when Shawn Hornbeck and Ben Ownby were found alive in Missouri? The guy who took them grew up literally around the corner from my house, and his parents still live there. He was driving right past my house, visiting his parents, while he had those two boys held captive at his apt. I'm sure my little girl was never in danger, but I still feel sick every time I think about such a monster being in my neighborhood. I know that's an unusual scenario compared to abuse by acquaintances, but it just hit very close to home. I shopped at the same Target as Shawn Hornbeck - what if I passed right by him, and never noticed?

After that, I swore to myself that from now on, I will pay closer attention to my surroundings, and try to practice my PTG tools all the time.

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#17 of 31 Old 01-13-2009, 01:53 AM
 
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My worries are less about the kids being hurt/dying -- though I do worry about that sometimes.
I mainly worry about DH. When he's out, or not back when I'm expecting him then I worry. He has a serious medical condition, and if he were in a car accident that might only be minor injuries for someone else he could be a lot worse off -- and if the paramedics didn't see his medic alert bracelet info, what they do to try to help might actually make it worse.

I read this book when my first DS was young so the statisical facts are not new to me, and I'm sure they have helped with my worrying less about abduction.
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I am waaaayyy more concerned about molestation. Kidnapping has never really concerned me. I've always realized that it's the people closest to you that can do the most harm. It's what happened to me.
That's how I feel as well.

Although I went to middle school right next to where a little girl disappeared. Maybe when my kids are older and wanting to go places alone I'll be more concerned.
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#19 of 31 Old 01-13-2009, 10:40 PM
 
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I worry a lot about DD getting molested. It is why I am so afraid to send her to school. Later on in the book he shares a story about a kid being raped in school by another student. This happened last year at the elementary school across the street from my sister. A teenager walked in and hid in the bathroom and waited for another child to come in. It scares the crap out of me.

My second biggest fear is second story windows.
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#20 of 31 Old 01-14-2009, 02:19 AM
 
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I read this book years ago (and am so glad I'm rereading it) and I am right back to worrying too much, also about the unrealistic stuff like kidnapping. I know it's not common, but I do think I worry too much and am overly cautious about it. My kids are very young and almost always with me, but now with my oldest in kindergarten I worry about molestation and stuff as well. It is odd though that despite what I've read and despite all the other fears (car accidents, accidents in the home) that I would even still worry about this. It's just hard to shake. To a certain extent I think some worry can prepare me for what I could do in a situation. But then after a while it stresses me out and takes some joy out of parenting.
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#21 of 31 Old 01-14-2009, 03:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Now that my oldest is eight and wants to ride his bike around the block, I worry about him getting lost and not being able to find his way home. I know it doesn't make sense, because he only wants to go around the block, but what if he sees some other kids and they talk him into going off with them somewhere?

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#22 of 31 Old 01-15-2009, 10:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Is everybody ready to start ch. 4?

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#23 of 31 Old 01-16-2009, 01:20 PM
 
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i'm ready, but I wanted to comment really quick- I read 3 and 4 last night and was actually really surprised by the comment (someone mentioned it here) in the book by the mom who said she worried so much about leaving her kids alone if she died, that she'd rather her child be on an airplane with her. I've actually thought through this same thing (of course!) and thought I'd feel some measure of relief in that position if my child were not with me. I can't imagine the horror I'd feel if I knew that not only was I going to likely die, but my child probably would with me. Yes I know it's worthless to sit and torture myself with such thoughts, but it really drove home for me how deep that desire is to keep them living at all costs. I think my worry about preserving their life trumps the fear I have of leaving them. Just thinking out loud, since he talks so much about the primal instinct we have to protect our offspring, and this seems so opposite of that to me.

I did find some of his points in this chapter a bit strange, or rather I just didn't see their value. For instance, I think it's natural to feel comforted of the idea of someone dying without pain or fear. It almost seemed like he was mocking it with his comments that death was inevitable but we were comforted by the idea of not seeing it coming, and therefore ill prepared. I didn't get that. I'm also not entirely sure that my overworrying is keeping me from seeing real dangers. Well, perhaps it could cloud and diminish the value of real fear. But it's not that I'm worrying to keep from thinking of the real dangers in front of me.

Anyway, I love chapter 4. Such practical advice!
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#24 of 31 Old 01-16-2009, 02:50 PM
 
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I am waaaayyy more concerned about molestation. Kidnapping has never really concerned me. I've always realized that it's the people closest to you that can do the most harm. It's what happened to me.
Me too. Of course DD is only 20 mos, but I read PTG while pg or early last year, and realized what he was saying about the real kidnapping statistics is true.

My mom was always paranoid while I was traveling whether alone of with friends in college that someone would attack me and kidnap me. I was always like, "Uh, mom, they'd bring me back." (or would have killed me because I was obnoxious) Or they would have ended up seriously hurt. I have no qualms about eye-gouging with my thumbs or twisting some balls off. You don't have to have weapons to protect yourself. Or puking on someone. That I got from a 70s-80s How to protect yourself from rape book my dad gave me.

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#25 of 31 Old 01-18-2009, 02:27 AM
 
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DeBecker says in the chapter that a parent's number one fear is that their child will be kidnapped by a stranger. Have you found this to be the case in your own life? Is that something you worry about?
Thank you for recommending this book. Wonderful, logical book.

I am very fearful of something terrible happening to my children. I am very protective and not trusting of virtually anyone except myself and dh. I am getting better. I never thought I would leave my kids with anyone else, but I have now enrolled Ivan in Gymboree class "Drop-Off" for two sessions now. I had that "gut feeling" of "she is a great person" in regards to his teacher.

I am very concerned with someone taking my children. Even after reading his chapter about such not being likely. I had Ivan in a harness for two years when out in public so that he would be attached to me. He did not want to be in the sling once he learned to walk. I

I am also so very aware of the tremendous number of child molesters in our world. I was molested by the adult neighbor, another family member was molested by the other neighbor who was an older teenage boy. My mother's father was a molester. One episode of sexual contact between a child and an adult RUINS the child's life. Ruins it forever. I will never let my guard down. Ivan is a very open and honest child. He is also very in touch with his feelings and shows emotions easily and full-force. I feel I will be able to read him like an open book for many years to come. Matilda is her own self as well and just a baby. I will make decisions about putting her in "drop-off" situations based on #1 her desire to be dropped-off and #2 my ability to read her and her level of openness.

I am learning so much already from this book.

SAHM to Ivan 6/10/05 who says  signcirc1.gifand Matilda 1/31/08 who says saynovax.gif:::

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#26 of 31 Old 01-18-2009, 07:01 PM
 
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There was some discussion earlier in this thread about male babysitters I meant to respond to.

I have hired a male sitter for my dd when she was a toddler , a decade ago. It was more a mother's helper thing, as I was working in a home office. It worked out ok. I don't know if I would now, as I live a much more suburban life and don't have the close friendships with men besides my dh that I used to have. Now it is all moms and the men all work outside the home and having an adult male sitter just would seem weird. Though there are a couple of home childcares I know of run on the "daddy daycare" principle by sahds. One is a friend of mine, and he never has open spaces. Families love him.

I've hired male-female sibs to babysit my children on occasion, too. One a set of 12 yr old m/f twins who did everything together, and one a 13 yr old girl who had to bring her 10 yr old brother along on babysitting jobs. In both situations, my dd was there and older (8 plus), so I felt better about leaving my children with younger sitters than I otherwise would have.

I do home childcare (with an agency, references, police and child welfare checks in place, and frequent surprise visits from agency staff). My dh has always worked flexible hours and has helped out with the daycare a lot -- he took several months of parental leave when each of my sons were born, for example.

I am very open when interviewing prospective clients about my husband's role in covering for me when I have dr appnts, etc. If they are not comfortable with that, then my home is probably not the right fit for their family. I do always give a few days warning when I have an appointment and parents have the choice of bringing a child to be cared for by my dh, or finding alternate care for the day. Often parents of the youngest children will keep their children out when I have an appointment the first time or two, then relax a little and bring them as they become more comfortable.

My agency supervisor has done a couple of visits when dh was on his own with the kids, and has raved about his care of them. I think it is very good for all the children, especially our own sons, to see a dad take over the nurturing role every once in a while.

We've had a couple of single moms of sons who chose my daycare BECAUSE there was a male presence in the home and their sons didn't have dad in their lives.

I've also had a mom who didn't want my dh- or any male- to change her dd's diaper or help her with the potty under any circumstances. We always respected and supported that rule, but it made things a little awkward and dh didn't like not feeling trusted in his own home. I don't think we would take on another family with that concern.

My dd is almost of babysitting age and because she is so wonderful with the children in my home and whereever she goes, she has lots of inquiries already about babysitting jobs. I want to hold out for a few years before having her sit outside the home, except maybe for family members.

My sons are getting the same experience, but they are very young yet (4 and 2). It makes me a little sad to know that should they want to babysit when they are older, they will likely have many fewer opportunities than their sister, just because of their gender.

I am already finding myself being far more careful to teach them about respecting privacy, and modesty/touching limits than I was with their sister at the same age. I don't much like them changing into and out of dress-up clothes in the same room with other children or hanging around when I am changing diapers, for example.

Speaking of worry, anyone else worry about protecting their sons from someday being in a position where they might be falsely accused of perpetrating sexual abuse?


I'm ready for ch. 4
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#27 of 31 Old 02-01-2009, 09:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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#28 of 31 Old 02-12-2009, 05:59 PM
 
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How did the things you worried about change when you became a parent? How does worry affect your parenting? What stood out to you in this chapter?

I took a lot more risks with myself alone that I cannot picture taking with my child. I remember one time in particular when I was on my way to my job at the mall when I was about 18 or so..in broad daylight...this older man was chatting to me and I was annoyed but I kept being polite instead of telling him to leave me alone. When we got off the trolley he asked me to go with him I said no, I can't and then he started pulling on my arm and saying "I have a car here..." I just said meekly, "sorry, I have to go to work" and luckily he gave up and left. After that, I thought wow, that could've been bad..good thing he listened..but when I picture that scenario with my dd I feel very angry and I can picture the scene."I SAID LEAVE US ALONE!" with physical injury if needed. I am aware that kidnapping is always in the media but that situation proves to me it CAN happen. I spent so many times walking alone at night with headphones on where someone could've grabbed me and that happened right in the middle of the day with people around so I am worried and maybe a bit overprotective but I don't let my daughter roam the streets at 8 and I dont care what the other parents do. I am more worried about molestation though because she is such a sweet and trusting child but I have taught her that noone is allowed to touch her or ask her to touch them and I think she gets it.

DeBecker says in the chapter that a parent's number one fear is that their child will be kidnapped by a stranger. Have you found this to be the case in your own life? Is that something you worry about?

OOps, answered that already...again.
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#29 of 31 Old 02-12-2009, 07:26 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Dr.Worm View Post
DeBecker says in the chapter that a parent's number one fear is that their child will be kidnapped by a stranger. Have you found this to be the case in your own life? Is that something you worry about?
No. But then DD is 21 mos old, and I always keep an eye on her, or we're in a place I don't worry about. She is very friendly and trusting and would probably go with someone depending on her mood.

But when I think of the future, huh, now, I worry more about someone molesting her and very careful, don't leave her with hardly anyone besides family or very good friends.

That is a much more likely possibility than kidnapping.

Mama to 2 year old and :: June 14th!
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#30 of 31 Old 02-12-2009, 07:43 PM
 
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i think my biggest worry is that my child wouldn't tell me that something had happened. I'm actually working on that atm, and am at the point where I have to accept they will make their own decisions about who they confide in, when and how. i coped; so can they.
and that's not to say i won't spend every part of me in protecting them to my utmost. i will.

when i was training for support work with rape crisis, we had a couple come in who work with 'the other side' to give us an idea why (predominantly) men offend. one thing that stuck with me from their talks is that you can't trust *anyone* 100%, but you can ALWAYS listen to a child and accept their story without question. none of that making excuses for children's strange comments that is so, so, so destructive.

when you meet a survivor, the worst part of healing is where no one listened/ picked up what was happening. no one heard their reality.

i want to be brave enough to always hear my children's reality even if it breaks me inside. may God protect them and us.

joy.gifspread a lot of love joy.gif

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