Shawn - Redford, Michigan
Entered on June 15, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: children
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What about the Children

It was 2001 and my brother was about to have his first child. Just a couple of years before this my brother was going through a sudden and unexpected divorce. While that marriage was ending, he quickly interested in someone else. After a couple of years together they started having problems so when we were told that they were expecting, I cringed. I understood what it was like to not have your parents together, even though I was very young when they divorced. I knew I was going to love this child more than anything, and I didn’t want him to have to experience that. I soon found out that his parents not being together was the least of my worries.

My brother and his girlfriend tried to make things work for a few years, but it just ended up being miserable for everyone involved. So my brother did was he does best, he met someone else. About a year into this new relationship he became a husband, a step-father to five children, and all while going through a bitter custody battle over my sweet nephew. You now have five children trying to get through their parents new divorce, my nephew being torn in two directions with his parents, and let’s top it all off with a new baby.

You hear these stories all around us and it tears at my heart. Children are brought up to look to their parents for support, reassurance, and love. They trust your judgment, and think you know what is best for them. They basically look at you and think that you know everything there is to know in this world. So where did we start forgetting that these little people have feelings to? I believe that children should be given more respect.

Most people don’t realize how fragile children are. They hurt just like adults, but we feel like it isn’t that significant because they are just children and do not understand. Go ahead say what you want, do what you want, they are only kids, they will never remember. Those little sponges might not remember exactly, but they can feel the energy around them. If mom and dad aren’t speaking or where fighting, they know something is wrong. They don’t understand and I think that that is what can be so scary for them.

After three years of intense fighting, being taken away from his family, and being totally miserable my brother decided that it was time to call it quits. He is on his way to his second divorce. He isn’t proud of himself and he shouldn’t be for what he has put those seven children through. The first thing my nephew said to us after being taken away from us for three years, was he’s just happy that his step mom doesn’t get to be mean to him and his dad anymore. He also said that all he wants is his fishing pole.

I missed my nephew during the times he couldn’t see us. I worried for him constantly. I heard stories of the kind of house he visited on the weekends and it made me crazy, because I couldn’t do anything about it. I had to sit back and let my brother live this life that was so wrong for any child. I unfortunately haven’t created a bond with my niece because she has not been allowed to come around us. Which is unfortunate, but that is what happens when people use their children as pawns to get some kind of personal satisfaction.

I can’t help but worry for the generations to follow me where so many children grow up in situations like this and worse. Kids are very important to this world and what you do to them today, can ruin them for tomorrow. I have learned from my brother that when it is my turn to have children, I will respect them. I will respect their needs, their feelings, and protect them any way that I possibly can. I will not base a decision totally on my personal desire after I have a child. I will be sure to keep my child’s best interest at heart. After all, when you have children you are making a promise to put them first until they are old enough to stand on their own.