uncomfortable

‘Papa, please back up!’ He doesn’t move. ‘Oh, relax. I can play how I want with her,’ he ruffles her blonde hair.’: Mom stands up to grandfather for inappropriate touching, teaches 3-year-old daughter she is ‘allowed, expected’ to say no

“A grown man looms behind my 3-year-old daughter. He will poke or tickle her, and she responds by shrinking. ‘Mae.’ My tone cuts through the noise. She does not look at me. ‘Mae.’ I start again. ‘You can tell him no.’ As I say the words, my stepfather leans in closer. His grin taunts me as my daughter tries to escape his hot breath. I repeat myself. She finally peeks up at me. ‘Mama…can you say it?’”

For our best love stories, subscribe to our free email newsletter: