I’m 25, I have a job with health insurance and I live with a man, so it’s only a matter of time until people start asking me when I plan to have children. I’ve never had any particular desire to give birth, and I don’t think I’d be a very good mother. I’ve also always hated the idea that women are naturally more kind, nurturing and child-focused than men. Having a uterus does not make someone suited to be a mother. I’ve been waiting for this myth to be disproven. Unfortunately, it’s being disproven in the worst possible way.

I’m sure everyone, by now, has seen or heard about the family separations at our southern border. (If you have not, may I please join you under your rock?) President Trump signed an order addressing the separations, but it doesn’t come close to resolving the problems his “zero tolerance” policy has created. And whatever your views on illegal immigration, children are alone, without their parents, in a foreign country. There’s something inherently wrong with that. And it’s women, by and large, who are the faces and defenders of the administration’s actions.

For example: Kirstjen Nielsen, our secretary of Homeland Security. These crying children are under her jurisdiction. She simultaneously dismisses and deflects their suffering. Sarah Huckabee Sanders. She has been blessed with three children. As White House press secretary, she gets up every day, stands in front of cameras and defends this policy. Laura Ingraham, the TV host, who has three children who I am sure she loves very much, called the detention centers “essentially summer camps.”

Essentially summer camps. This pisses me off as a Mainer because our state has a long tradition of excellent summer camps. I myself went to a sleepaway camp (Camp Bishopswood, great place) for three summers as a kid. There were no chain-link enclosures involved. I slept in a sleeping bag, not under a foil blanket. And my parents knew where I was and could have picked me up at any time.

If Ingraham takes her kids to the playground and sees a child who isn’t her own slip and fall down, does she ignore them or does she comfort them? What if she sees a child being bullied? If Huckabee Sanders sees a lost child crying in a store, does she help the child find his or her parents? I’d like to think the answer is “yes.” So where is the compassion for children crossing the border? Is it easier to ignore a little voice that says “Mami” and “Papi” instead of “Mommy” and “Daddy”?

One of the phrases that has horrified me the most came from another parent: John Kelly, former Homeland Security secretary and current White House chief of staff. He said that children separated from their parents at the border “would be put into foster care or whatever.”

Now, Kelly has suffered the loss of a child – the worst loss a parent can live through. I have no doubt that he would have sacrificed himself to save his son if he could have. So I simply can’t understand why he would be so dismissive.

“Foster care or whatever.” In Maine, we know what “or whatever” sounds like. “Or whatever” sounds like Logan Marr. Kendall Chick. Marissa Kennedy.

And where is our famously moderate Republican senator, Susan Collins? Will her “Margaret Chase Smith” moment ever come? As of this writing, I hear she has signed on to a stern letter to the Trump administration. How brave. What an example of womanly courage.

I have a scar on my right knee. When I was 10 years old, I heard my little sister – then 2 – crying, and I sprinted across a parking lot toward the sound. I tripped, tore open my knee and kept moving until I was holding my sister. It wasn’t until later that I noticed that my leg was covered in blood. Of all my scars, this one is my favorite because it is a physical reminder of how much I love my siblings. But perhaps I should have just written a sternly worded letter.

I’ve seen the pictures of the crying children. I’ve heard the audio recordings. And it has made me feel something I don’t think I have ever felt before – an ache, not in my uterus, but deep inside my chest. A strange tingling sensation in my arms. They feel empty. I find myself thinking that they are just the right size and softness to hold a child.

The jury is still out on whether I will have biological children. But there are other things I could become. One path calls out to me: foster parent.

Victoria Hugo-Vidal is a Maine millennial. She can be contacted at:

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Twitter: @mainemillennial