Seven

My daughter turns seven years old on Monday.

It’s a milestone I’ve been dreading for some years. Seven years old.

I have organised a party. A disco with music and lights. I’ve bought glow sticks, I’m making a buffet and building a rainbow My Little Pony layer cake. I’ve told her to invite all her classmates. I have bought all the presents that seven year old girls like (hopefully).

Because I want my little girl to remember seven for the year she had an awesome birthday. I want my little girl — my sensitive girl who’s still afraid of the dark, who still likes to cuddle when she’s sad, who still likes her sandwiches cut into little triangles, and who has me sit with her while she falls asleep — my sweet, innocent little girl to remember seven for the year she got to party in sequins and eat pizza and cake with her school friends.

I don’t want her to remember seven as the year a sexual predator with alleged child sex offences won the US presidential election, further normalising the continued treatment of women and girls as objects.

I don’t want her to remember seven as the year a sexual predator with alleged child sex offences won the US presidential election, in part because of votes from a majority of white women, who statistically many of whom have been sexually assaulted but don’t see it as an issue that should affect their vote, demonstrating the further normalisation of the continued treatment of women and girls as objects.

I had hoped that by the time my daughter reached seven, the world would be different. Better. That I wouldn’t have to worry about her potentially experiencing the shit I went through when I was seven.

Because I don’t want her to remember seven as the year she was sexually assaulted for the first time. Like I do.

I wanted better than this.