Some people think that children are these little creatures that don't understand life around them. Well, maybe they don't have an understanding to the negativity that surrounds them in daily life, hitting them from all corners, but they do know when something is wrong, something isn't quite right or when someone around them has done something wrong.
My little man has the uncanny ability to understand when things just aren't adding up. He stops. He watches. He listens. And sadly for him, things have happened that he has witnessed that have hurt him and made him fearful and regretful that he was unable to stop it. At five years old, his love and protectiveness for his mother is very strong. Here is the story of my little boy.
My son's conception came after a devastating miscarriage in 2005. I carried for 6 months, unknowingly, and the baby died while in utero. It was a little girl. I named her and still light a candle each year on the day that was to be her birthday. When we found there was no heartbeat, we also were forced into having the baby stillborn. From that point on, pregnancy always has frightened me. From my own or those closest to me. When a mother reaches two months, I worry. When a mother reaches 6 months of pregnancy, I worry even harder. And as she advances into her third trimester, I become "out there" because I am so worried about the baby and their mother.
After the birth of my son, people around him swarmed and he was showered with love. He spent 4 full wonderful years building relationships with people that he loved and valued as Aunts, Uncles even when they were not. He enjoyed an array of vacations, trips to places most kids don't visit until their teenage years with the people he loved and admired.
Then, one day... poof....
There was an agenda against his mother. No one had the courage to speak to his mother about any issues or troubles that were bothering them. Instead, a coalition was built in favor of taking her down and out and if he was involved in the removal process, then he was considered "collateral damage". Such sickness has been around for many generations and has been known to me since I was a child. Yet in my younger years, I was not able to communicate properly and thus, helped dig myself into my own hole by turning a blind eye to things I knew just weren't right. Giving the benefit of the doubt doesn't always work in your favor... sometimes it can bite you in the ass. Your best efforts have been in vain.
All the while, a little child is mixed up in this power play between adults. A childlike struggle that shouldn't exist at the ages we are. Still, legacy's are harder to rid yourselves of. It is just as equally difficult to stand up for yourself in an assertive and respectful way without being drawn into a knock-down drag-out fight. For years, my son witnessed total disrespect towards his mother. He said little things like "why does so-and-so talk to you like that, Mommy?" and Mommy would say "sometimes people just don't know what they do". Thinking family was family and no matter what, the romance that you stick together was strong in my mind. It couldn't have been farther from the truth.
In one fell swoop, he witnessed two of his most beloved people, whom he has known since the day he was born, verbally attack his mother in such a hostile manner that it frightened him to run out of the room and away from the confrontation. Six months later, he still asks me about it. I tell him "people make mistakes, but that doesn't make them bad people. They're just hurt people". However, this morning, he came to me with a dream.
In his words:
"Mommy was holding a big black dog with a short face. He was being mean to her, trying to take the fuzzy ball away from her. He made Mommy sad. So I ran and killed the dog away (meaning he took the dog away from his mother) from Mommy and put it on the floor. The dogs body got "all fired up" (on fire but not by him, it just became on fire) and his "tail was all fired up". He then turns to his mother and says "are you ok, Mommy?". His mother hugs him and says "Yes, I am fine". He said he felt happy that he had saved his Mommy from the mean dog that was attacking her.
To me, this is a direct result of the terrible sight he saw when two of his most beloved people in his life lost control of themselves and attacked his mother; rendering him helpless and powerless to help her. His guilt remains in his mind even though I have done my best to help move him forward and not to think about things like this. Still, you and I know that you cannot control your subconscious.
The black dog in the dream was an aggressive dog; I am guessing a Rottweiler or a pit. These dogs are not vicious by nature, they are brought up that way but society teaches us these are dangerous animals. So the dangerous animal was being mean to his mother and here was his opportunity to save his Mother from the attacker, instead of running away. Taking the aggressive dog away from his Mother and extinguishing it was his way of saving her and taking care of the problem. He was protecting me. He felt powerless during the actual event yet in his dream, which gave him much relief as he was telling me about it, it gave him the ability to overcome his fear of the aggressor and step in to help his mother.
This was not my dream. It was my sons. I have been told that children don't know anything when something is wrong. But what is wrong about that is that children know everything when something is wrong. They watch body language, they read facial cues, tone of voice and listen to what is being said. And my son, having been tested with an IQ must higher than the normal child his age, knew something was wrong a long time ago... I just wish he could have told me about it before my life changed forever.
So to anyone out there that dismisses a child's ability to see things for what they are, I say to you; NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF A CHILD'S MIND. They see and hear everything. And just because they can't talk, walk or communicate fully doesn't mean they DON'T understand something is wrong. Don't be so stupid. Listen to your children. For all you know, they know something you don't know....