Marching Forward: Telling My Son About Circumcision

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    • Marching Forward: Telling My Son About Circumcision

      “Then why did they take the skin off my penis?” He looks horrified and I can see the fear in the strain of his face.

      “A lot of doctors do it to make money. So, they told lies to make some moms believe that it was good. And the doctor that told me to do it, he lied to me and I never should've done that. But I believed the doctor because I thought he was right.”

      “But he wasn't right.”

      “No, he wasn't and I am so SO sorry.”

      “It's okay.”

      “So now -- now I know better and I know that we shouldn't do this to our babies. That is why I talk to people about it. That is why I write on my car, that is why I wear these bracelets, so that people will talk about it. So that people will know that when the doctors say that they SHOULD do it...I just want other moms to know that it is okay to NOT do it so that they don't feel like I feel sometimes. I feel sad sometimes that you are missing a part of your penis that might help you. I am very sorry that I listened to the doctor and didn't learn about it first.”

      “It's okay. The doctors shouldn't be telling lies like that.”

      “No they shouldn't.”

      “The doctors - we need to call them and tell them not to tell any more lies. They don't need to cut off foreskin anymore. And that is why we are going to Washington D.C.!” My little activist. There is a wrong and he wants to make it right. I told you he was his mother's son!

      “That is right, we are going to talk to everyone that we can and we are going to tell them the truth. We are going to give them all the right information so that they won't do this to their babies. And we are going to go together.”

      “Because that is what you have to do when you know what the truth is, you have to always tell the truth!”

      On our second day there I was at a DrMomma table with info cards and books on it. There was also a circumstraint and circumcision tools on it. I watched C approach the table and go straight to the tools. He touched each one. He was holding a scalpel and looked up at me.

      “What are these things Mom?”

      I wasn't expecting this either. I took a deep breath, “That is a scalpel.”

      He put his hand on the velcro of the circumstraint. “What is this thing?”

      My mind jumped to the day he was born. I saw his little 10lb body strapped to that board. I remembered his deep baby cry. His chest heaving. I have never been more sorry a day in my life. “That is the board they put the baby on to do a circumcision.”

      “The doctor put me on one of these?” He was so casual.

      “Yes.” If we weren't surrounded by hundreds of people I would have started crying. I could barely breathe. I guess saying it was done and seeing the circumstraint were two different things. Seeing that velcro in his little hand was overwhelming.

      He picked up the gomco clamp. “Which one of these did the doctor use to cut off my foreskin?”

      “I'm not sure honey, they didn't tell me.” I don't want to know.

      He moved over to the restoration devices on the Saving Our Sons table. He asked how each one worked and I took them apart and explained to him how he could, when he is older if he wants to, restore his foreskin. I explained to him that a lot of men do it and if he wanted to when he was older we could talk about it and find one that worked for him. Once he seemed satisfied he went back to playing with his friends.

      Saving Our Sons