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Children Are Not Resilient.

June 22, 2021

“D’Aundre Holmes-Wilfork, the son of former NFL star Vince Wilfork, was arrested last month and charged with stealing more than $300,000 in jewelry, including a pair of Super Bowl rings, according to a police complaint released by the Galveston County District Attorney’s Office in Texas.”

Until a couple of hundred years ago, more children died in childhood than lived through it. Parents had no choice than give birth and see what happened. If they loved their young there was a better than even chance that they would be crushed by their death.

So many children died then because children are fragile.

Medicine advanced and more children lived. Medicine advanced so that humans could try to control whether they became pregnant or not. More children survived, but fewer children were born.

We came to love our children more because we could risk loving them, without the probability of their tragic death before we could ever know them. Children became central to our lives in these last generations.

But the survivors never changed. We are human. Mostly we muddle through life, making money, creating things, binge watching. We also do great and awful things. As ever, we do our lives in the reality of having children around us, some as parents.

Children have no choice but to fully focus on their parents. They can do nothing but use the food and shelter given to them, unearned and essential.

Part of that food is love.

Starvation wrecks a body. Organs fail, disease can infect. And you become fully psychotic in the quest for food, until catatonic in its absence. Some die. Those who do not die recover to be visually indistinguishable from those who were fell fed. But they are changed.

Children are easy victims of abuse. They think abuse is what every human has, because they know no others but the abusers and their fellow abused. They feel they earn the cruelty of their lives because the abusers are those who give them life.

But abuse, like a form that casts a statue, may be removed, but the sculpture is cast.

You can never know the food you never ate, so children come to know that while they are like everyone else around them, they have been shaped. Like everyone around them.

Vince Wilfork was a full success at the thing he loved, football. He also had loving parents. He also fell in love in college and married his love, who had a son, whose father had simply left their life.

Naturally as a great good man, Wilfork adopted the child of his love. Twenty years of success followed. But the first years of this son’s life shaped his son. Money, food, family is not enough to undo some childhoods.

His 23 year old son, loved these last 20 or more years, stole things from those who loved him. We act for ourselves when we feel that is all we have. D’Aundre Holmes-Wilfork tried to fill a starved childhood, and could not.

Adults try to reconcile everything. Injustice means you are a victim or a failure. Love is unearned or deserved. We are entitled to what we want.

But we do not earn or deserve love, love is the air we breath, it is life. When we cannot breath beyond survival it is starvation. We do not learn hunger. Love is essential. When a child, love is all we know, or its absence. Even for a brief time when we are being formed.

I wish I knew anyone who was not shaped by their childhood. A “bad seed” could be dismissed, eliminated. A born perfect human could rule the earth. But no, we are who we are, because we did not make ourselves.

Children are not resilient.

Children are fully fragile.

We have all been them, we still are.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. mary zahl permalink
    June 22, 2021 8:17 am

    I so agree, Duo. Children may appear resilient for a time, but the early wounds of deprivation seldom heal. ♥️🙏♥️

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