I visited my grandchildren last weekend—and my daughter and son-in-law, too, of course. It’s hard living so far away, but I try to get there about once a month if the weather and the airlines cooperate. My newest grandson is a little over 3 months old, and he is kind of hefty—weighing in at 17 pounds, about the size of a typical 7 –9 month old. He is healthy and is obviously thriving on his diet of breast milk only. While I was sitting on the couch, holding him, talking with him, cuddling him and making him laugh, I started to cry. I was overcome with sadness. I was thinking about how much love this little guy receives now, and will for the foreseeable future, and at the same time, about how many children may never know love, kindness, or a full belly. Even now, just thinking about that moment, I am choked up.
Children in our society are so vulnerable.
We have developed societal methods to protect them, yet these protections often fail. We stand on a precipice. I see a lot of movement in our country to do things that will inevitably harm children. I see cutbacks happening in all areas of our community services. I see young girls, deprived of access to birth control, forced to bring children into the world without the means to provide those children care. So many teens and young adults are no where near ready for parenthood. Being a parent is HARD. You have to have patience, understanding and the ability to postpone fulfilling your own needs in order to tend to your child’s needs. That takes a fair bit of maturity. Some thing that not many 20-somethings are ready to do. Imagine being 15 and having to do that. Usually without a positive role model.
My heart bleeds
for all the children I have seen over the past three decades who, while they may have been loved, were also harmed by someone close to them. I see the beautiful smile of my youngest grandson, and think of many, many stories of lives that were cut short, or made so much more painful than they needed to be. I feel a need to share these stories with my readers. Not to be morose, or to make you sad. But perhaps to help you see my perspective. It is the perspective of many professionals who care for children. We have come to realize that the only way we can truly care for the children in our society, is to care FOR our society. Over the next little while—until my heart stops hurting, or until I run out of stories—I will blog about the true stories of children who have moved me. They may not have all been categorized as abuse. But abuse can come in many forms, as I think you will see. I hope you will stick with me.