I have been accused of talking too much but saying too little. I will make this long story short.
A long time member of Joe Paterno's coaching staff has been charged with sexually abusing children on Penn State property. While no charges were brought against him, there has been talk for years. Sandusky, the ex-Nittany Lion player and long-time defensive coach had allegedly been "grooming" boys for abuse by bringing them to games and buying them gifts. Allegedly, because, no one has proven anything. Sandusky makes a good case for being the injured party. He is an adoptive father, married, church-goer...foster parent.
The media speculates that there have been eye-witnesses in the showers. The students are upset because they see their thousands of dollars investment in education being tarnished. The fans are upset...JoPa is a legend. How could he not do more. How could he just do the minimum.
Lost in all of this is the larger issue...where were the parents. We are called to be the first teachers of our children. We are called to protect them. We need to be more aware...we are falling asleep.
Yes, a man who takes an interest in a child...a good man who is a football coach with access to one of the most revered coaches in our country at a football program that is respected not only for its talent but also its integrity, wants to take my son, by himself, to the school for a visit. NO!!! Big coach man can get a few tickets and my husband or almost adult son with accompany them. People, wake up. We are responsible for our children...their education, their livelihood, their souls. We do not let them go with people we don't know.
Yes, an adult who spends a lot of time working with children might be a very good person. Or they could be a pedophile. We cannot afford to know how they operate. According to Childline, the national registry for abuse of children, about 6 million children are sexually abused each year. More than 90% of juveniles know their abuser in some way. The really successful abusers (the one's who don't get caught) don't just snatch the child out of their yard. They groom the child. Get to know the parents. Buy them gifts. Earn their trust. Eventually, they might try to get the child to do something illegal...have a beer. Do some drugs. Makes the children reluctant to tell on the abuser if they might get in trouble, too.
This Sunday's first reading is from Proverbs and it talks about the wife and her duties.
|Proverbs 31:10–13, 19–20, 30–31|
She is far more precious than jewels.
11The heart of her husband trusts in her,
and he will have no lack of gain.
12She does him good, and not harm,
all the days of her life.
13She seeks wool and flax,
and works with willing hands.
19She puts her hands to the distaff,
and her hands hold the spindle.
20She opens her hand to the poor,
and reaches out her hands to the needy.
30Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
31Give her a share in the fruit of her hands,
and let her works praise her in the city gates.
When I read this and thought about what on earth I could write...I don't clean. I direct the children and put away laundry...even that, I have them help. Shawn won't let me shop. I am a little scattered; he is much more efficient. Lately, he has taken to preparing dinner during his lunchtime from his very stressful job...less food waste that way. I am pretty much the anti-good wife. What do I bring to the table...why does Shawn, bless his heart, still love me. I am the information person. In this world, we need one. I am the one who knows that we don't need to check the sexual abuse registry for the perp on our block...there are plenty and they aren't registered or caught. There just are. Shawn deals in business world and then he just takes care of his family. I have seen the ugly and don't hide from it. I will help him protect the babies. And I will teach them. I will find books that they will enjoy reading and I will teach them to learn. God brought us together. He knows our strengths. We are learning to love each other because of the different things we bring to the table. We didn't know that I had multiple sclerosis when we were married. We didn't know that we would be incapable of having children together. We could have become disappointed in each other. Honestly, we probably were/are...but we are working through that. Instead, we adopted this nest of beautiful brown babies and brought a few families together...and it works.
So I promised I would be succinct...you should know me better than that by now. What am I saying...Sandusky probably hurt the boys. We need to learn that if a child is crying in the other room and someone walks out, he probably wasn't comforting her. Believe your eyes. Look at the statistics. Millions of children are being hurt each day. Look at the sex trafficking of our kids. Look at all the people and institutions that are trying to erode our rights as parents. Tomorrow I am going to review a book my counselor recommended (before he passed out during our session...are we facebook friends!!? I really blab there!!) It talks about the peer culture of our society and addresses bullying and attachment. Our children are in trouble and we are the only ones who can save them...even us handicapped moms can have our children rise up and call us blessed if we can save them from the Sandusky's and the bully's and the tormentors...and show them lots of love :o)
As for JoPa...he really isn't God. Sometimes it just seems that way. He told the police. Leave him alone. I personally hope he doesn't abandon his team while this is going on...though I certainly wouldn't blame him. Joe, do what you need. We still love you!!
And finally ;o) the lawyer I did my internship was noted as Sandusky's lawyer in a news article. Joe Amendola...if this gets back to you, remember the advice you gave me the first time we went to court...if someone starts shooting, get under the seats! Keep that in mind as you move forward and I'm praying for you!!