Camille was asking me about something we had heard in the news about the honor killings in Canada. I have spoken a bit about this before. I really have a problem with Patriarchy. I have a problem with people who look at children like property. When I was first in the hospital in those moments before recovery began, where we really thought I was not walking out of their under my own steam, Matt came to me. He asked me what I wanted.

I didn't want to be there I wanted to go home.

No, James What do you want...

What he meant was what did I need to know would happen if I passed. What was it I needed to rest. It's a question all of us should be asked if you think about it. It helps you know what you need to do, learn, be when your alive.

I answered honestly and after a thought.

"Camille needs to know where she comes from. She needs to be allowed to find out who she is. Teach her the strength that comes from questioning everything and make sure she knows that if there is any way I could have stayed that I would not have left."

This world beats people down. It likes it.

Wait, let me rephrase....

People love to beat people down, take them as a possession. You see it in secularism so badly. Old family values can be a thin veil hiding insecurity as much as it can be based on personal responsibility. Just depend on the family. We were driving and heard NPR covering it. Camille couldn't fathom a world where a dad looks at her daughter as something he could toss away. She can't fathom a world where a father is enraged by a child so much her life matters less than his own insecurity, less than the opinions of his family, less than his opinions of his friends, or even some god who's okay with the death of a child.

I'm proud of that. No child should comprehend such evil at her age.

No one owns Camille, No one owns James. That includes me. They get to find out who they are with me being their to protect them, encourage them, educate them, and let them go when they are ready. It's our jobs as parents and I am not only proud to be their father but they enrich my life. I see the world better and differently when they explain it to me. I remember the magic the world has because they still see it. When I see Camille growing up I see the shadow of her two and three-year old selves asking me to rub her tummy so she can sleep, and having adventures hunting zombies in our living room. I will always remember James being my shadow and superman punching me in a wrestling match on my bed.

So in the conversation with her I had to share with her that the world is basically broken on a social level, and even thought she doesn't feel this way, its been this way for a long time. I had to explain to my nine-year old that there are men who believe that their daughters, their wives, hell in some cases women they meet are possessions and handled as such.  In that same conversation though after I acknowledge that this darkness exists in our world I talked to her about how things should be, and in more and more cases how they are.

We talked about suffrage (Thank you Mary Poppins for a relatable example.)  We talked about how women have had to fight to become more, upon back of the women who refused to bend, or where so amazing they fought through the little boys club that runs so much of our world.

Most importantly we talked about her. It's okay for her to say she's not okay with something. It's okay for her to speak out if someone is harassing her. (Bullies at school area good example here.)  It's okay for her to be who and what she wants to be.

My little girl at the end of the conversation seemed to understand that there are fights we all have to have. I have no idea whats in store for her. I know that I got a chance to be here, to stand beside her as she grows, and I will be damned if I toss that away so she can belong to me.