I was out on a walk with my 12-year-old son when he asked, “What is child pornography?”
I was stunned. “Where did you read about it?” was my instantaneous response. It turned out he’d come across the term in a computer magazine.
I explained that it referred to using children in ways they should not be. How? he probed. I said, “Sexually. You’ll understand more when you’re older.”
How does one explain child pornography to a child? (Agreed, at 12 he’s not quite a child, but not quite a teen either.)
A mother described what happened when she went to fetch her 4-year-old son from the kindergarten on the last day of school. A girl came running up to him and said, “Joel, I’m going to Mumbai tomorrow. You MUST miss me.” After she’d gone, the mother asked her son, “Who is she?” His reply was immediate: “She’s Pinky, my girlfriend.”
And after a pause, he continued, “But I don’t want her to be my girlfriend anymore. She’s always telling me what to wear!”
And, finally, we went to a friend’s place (company guest house, where he was staying with his family) for dinner yesterday. All was set for the combined family group photo. My friend emerged from a room, camera in hand: “We won’t get many pics from this. The battery is low, and I forgot to bring the charger.” They were to leave for a holiday resort the next day.
His wife’s face changed. She was clearly annoyed. I could read her thoughts. No vacation pics? Unthinkable!
My friend took a couple of group pics and was going to take a third when his wife said, “At this rate the battery will get over here itself.” I couldn’t resist rubbing it in: “You sound worried.”
Her 12-year-old daughter immediately shot back, pointing to her dad: “It’s he who should be worried!”
I had to burst out laughing.