Save the Children

You can take my picture, Mom, but you cannot make me smile

These two urchins are proof-pictured victims of the abuses inherent in the family photo album industry. This cottage industry routinely employs underage models, who are forced to work long minutes posing for “cute” photographs by their, so-called, parent-guardians. Government seems both unwilling and unable to crackdown on these practices.

So, remember theses two, the next time that you are ooh-ing or ah-ing over a friend’s or relative’s pictures of their children. Real children were coerced into posing for those photographs, just like these two were. If we don’t correct this rampant parenthood, two-year-olds will be made to feel self-conscious of themselves.

I don’t mean to make light of real child abuse, although this post probably would seem like that to some. It is really just a peek back in time to an earlier era, in my family’s life. The photo was taken some 20+ years ago. The red LED lettering in the lower right corner is wrong. This photo was not taken in ‘87; Dave would have been too young.

By coincidence, today happens to be the five-year anniversary of the Missouri Miracle. Two kidnapped boys, Ben Ownby and Shawn Hornbeck were rescued on this date. At the time Ownby had only been recently abducted, but under circumstances very similar to those of Hornbeck, who had disappeared over four years earlier. The Saint Louis area had been filled with dread, following this reoccurrence, but dread switched to joy with the announcement of the boys’ rescue. I heard the first news announcement, on my drive home from work. By the time that I hit the grocery store, everyone had heard it too. A state of euphoria had settled upon the shoppers and workers alike. On the way out of the store, I passed by a park bench. Its advertisement asked the question, “Have you seen this child?” The milk carton kid was Shawn Hornbeck. The perp, was arrested on that day. He is serving 74 life terms.

Today should have been a snow day. We only got about an inch of snow, so neither Anne’s school nor my work was cancelled, but they should have been. Underneath this inch of snow was ice, of both the black and white variety. My ten-mile commute took over ninety minutes. I gave up counting wrecks halfway to work. Recriminations were bouncing back-and-forth during my return run in the evening. Should MODOT have pretreated the roads? This was our first snowfall of the winter. First snowfalls are notorious here in Saint Louis. Everyone seems to always forgot how to drive in the snow, over the summer. This year’s mild winter has pushed back the initial snowfall by two months. People were beginning to believe that winter would never come. Maybe this morning they just refused to trust their senses and chose not to believe in the white stuff.

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