We need to calm the eff down

It’s justifiably a worst nightmare, but child abduction in Canada is not the norm.

Missing Children Society of Canada looked at the 46,718 missing children recorded by the RCMP in 2011. The majority were runaways, parental kidnapping accounted for 145 and a stranger kidnapping was 25. Though absolutely horrifying, one missing child is too many, these numbers do not reflect Canada’s 5,607,345 fourteen years and under crowd recorded by Statistics Canada.

Parental abduction is what will most likely occur in the rare event that your child is kidnapped. It usually occurs between separated parents, where one is not abiding by the custody agreement.

The RCMP website says, “Canadian law enforcement definition of a stranger not only refers to someone totally unknown to the child victim but also refers to relatives, friends, and acquaintances.” So strangers are rarely true strangers.

Well if it doesn’t happen that often why are we always hearing about children kidnappings? The same reason we hear about shark attacks when they happen – they are rare occurrences. If news were about everyday stuff it wouldn’t be called news. It would be called stuff that happens all the time. Having it brought to our attention, such as through Amber Alerts, helps families find their children quicker. It’s about helping others, not fearing for ourselves.

Also, we are fucked up. My first-year journalism professor told our class that a newspaper in California only ran happy stories, and bombed. We as a people like the most terrifying, shocking stories.

A child being abducted is already a heart-wrenching story. I myself cry and physically hurt every time I hear of one. The more gruesome the story, the more it is shoved in our faces.

What parents really have to fear is the stigma they may get if they let their kids run outside, say hello to strangers or walk home from school without a parent. We have to fear the people who fear the improbable for our children. We live in a time where a man fawning over a baby, the way a woman stereotypically would, is seen as perverted instead of caring. Toy recalls are all over the place.

I have recently finished feminist writer Inga Muscio’s book, Cunt: A declaration of independence. In it she speaks of a lady named Jaleh, who fled Iran to America. Though grateful for her new life, Jaleh was shocked over how cold American women were to each other, while women in Iran cared for each other. I relate to this story because our sense of community here in Canada can easily be lost in a sea of paranoia. And that’s fucked up.

Canadian statistics of missing children has decreased since the beginning of their recording in 1987 by over 10,000. Things are getting better. And while I agree we must watch our children, teach them about safety, even enroll them in self-defense, I also believe we need to let them have a childhood.

When I bring this topic up, even with those opposed to me, people admit that they had fun growing up, running through forests, playing at their friends’ houses. Do you want to deny your child of these memories? It’s scary, I know. I get freaked out too. But we can’t let fear control our lives, nor those of our children.

I write other stuff too! Check out HillaryDiMenna.com

Seven things she’ll miss

She hates these things now …

1. Naps

It’s what we adults did before drinking coffee. Best Health says a 20 to 90 minute nap can make you alert, lose weight, produce serotonin and get a better sleep at night, among other benefits. Yet kids have no idea how awesome they have it. THEY GET TO NAP AT SCHOOL. You can’t get away with that stuff anymore.

2. Hair done

While adults schedule and pay fees to have their tresses washed, trimmed and styled, children everywhere are freaking out by the sight of a comb or bottle of shampoo.

3. Nail care

Same as above really; mani pedi combos are a luxury people shell out big bucks for.

Aww you’re getting carried around, that must suck.

4. The time to be bored

Be it modern day sensory overload or higher expectations, adults are always freaking out saying there is not enough time in the day. Meanwhile kiddos can sit amongst a pile of toys and complain about being bored due to their abundance of time.

5. Flattery

Maybe I wouldn’t need therapy if people, friends, family, strangers, fawned over me constantly telling me how awesome I am.

Must be horrible to constantly be compared to a famous actress.

6. Being pushed around in a stroller

Cries of wanting to run around will soon be drowned out with age and aching muscles.

7. Not having to wear clothes

Pretty sure children know this is awesome. At my age it’s socially unacceptable – you can’t even be seen without looking immaculate if you want to avoid judging stare downs in the streets.

I write other stuff too! Check out HillaryDiMenna.com

Broken Arts Fest 2012

Saturday was great!

Thanks to all those that came by, zines went fast! I know everyone couldn’t make it, what with work schedules and countries dividing us. Luckily, there are 10 copies left ready to be shipped.

It was a great day and I met some great people. It’s neat to put faces to people I’ve only met prior through screen names. Again, thanks for all the support and encouragement, very, very much appreciated. Also motivating so expect some good stuff this week xoxo

Big thanks to Broken  Arts for putting on the event!

I write other stuff too! Check out HillaryDiMenna.com