We are back to what seems, to me, one of the more idyllic ways to live – my husband off to work early in the morning, and I about my house, making coffee while the kids sleep. They sleep for hours and hours, unfettered by school’s schedule.
Busy as I am – currently making a video tutorial on a silk dress – when I hear them stirring I go sit on their bed, or crawl in for a bit.
This morning: “What was the deal…” my son asks, his brown body curled up with his back to me, “with witches?”
I ask him what he means.
“Why did people put them to death?” I can see he is troubled. I breathe. It hurts to think about.
I tell him what I know: men are afraid of women. So women with power affect them most of all. .”Witches” were independents: midwives, women who worked on their own or in some way did not meet cultural standards. So it wasn’t right, but some of these women were persecuted, tortured, and killed.
He asks if witches are real, though. I’m like – I don’t know. But my friend N____ is a witch. He asks, “How does that work?”
“It’s like religion. It’s very personal. So you can’t always go up to someone and ask them ‘how it works’.”
As we talk I feel his body, which had been curled up defensively, possibly a bad dream – I feel his body soften. He turns his cheek under my arm, and pulls me close. “You are so nice,” he says. “So lovely!” Because it’s not that children can’t handle harsh reality. It’s that they aren’t meant to handle adults who don’t give shit, or adults who don’t commit to being the one to make it better.
I’m thinking how powerful it is to be a parent. I am almost never prepared for the responsibility.