Saturday, January 4, 2014
How to really see
Well school is back in session and life is back to normal routines. The kids were wild these last two days and full of life and laughs and information. As usual I asked most of the kids if they had a good Christmas and did they enjoy the time off and were they ready to get back to school. Surprisingly most of the kids were glad to be back in school. They like familiar and they like routines and knowing what each day holds for them.. One little girl who I really like and is one of seven children in a three bedroom trailer that is in a kind of rundown trailer park really broke my heart. She and her two brothers that are in my school did not have a good Christmas. The youngest one told me, "we didn't get nuthin". I checked with the sister and it was true. So sad. I know they were not the only ones to get nothing for Christmas. It is just sad when most of the children were telling each other I got this and I got that but it is heartbreaking when they say....I got nothing. Our school does a great job at reaching out to families who are in need. So does all our local churches. My own church included. We have a food pantry and we offer all kinds of help and outreach throughout the year. Need doesn't just happen at Christmas. But the parents of these children really need to let people know. This particular family keeps their kids clean. Clothes clean. Hair trimmed and neat. They wear the same three or four outfits over and over but they are always clean. With seven children I am sure the mom is very busy. But still everyone knows when Christmas, birthdays and just different events occur. Since I work around young children I really do see different facets of the same events. Life through kids eyes is way different than through grown up eyes. Way different. As a so called grown up, I see life as work, pay bills, clean stuff, wash clothes, go to bed, get up, eat food, bathe and on and on and on. Same old routine....different day. We incorporate other things in our lives like church, fellowship, family things, shopping etc... But life through kid eyes is filtered by what trickles down from all of us grown ups. Kids go where we go, live where we place them, go to school where the bus or car drops them off. Listens to teachers, and other grown ups all day long tell them as groups what to do, where to go and how to act. Many kids today go after school and some before to daycares where two or three grown-ups tell them to do homework, play as a group, eat your snack...now and other directions for a period of time. At their homes I am unsure of what really goes on. I am aware of statistics and how many are abused, neglected, hungry and other issues that are heartbreaking. But through their eyes as I watch and listen at school I really mostly see and hear a flurry of conversations. "I stayed up til 11:00 last night Miss Cindy watching scary movies and that's why I'm late." "I didn't get no breakfast this morning and I' hungry!" Often a child comes in crying off the bus or out of the car. When they wander in the dining room for breakfast often it is because they are sick. "Mama said I had to go to school....my belly hurts." Next thing you know they have thrown up all over the floor, the table, your feet or the kid next to them. Through their eyes they are looking for someone who cares. Who will hug them. Let them lay down. Cover them with a blanket. Put a cool rag on their head and rub their feverish little backs. My question to mothers and fathers and grandmas and just people. Where has all the caring gone?? When has it become more important to allow your child to stay up until 11:00 watching anything?? When has it become okay to let your five year old eat spaghettios out of a can in the car at 8:30 at night and call this dinner?? Yes, I sound harsh and cold towards grown ups. Guess what??? I mean to. As a community we need to care about each other and really show the hands and feet of Jesus. Mentor young families. Offer advice and suggestions to each other. Take a surprise meal to a family who you know doesn't eat all that great. I honestly do not have any answers. Not really. I just know that life through kid eyes is just different. They just want to know who cares....about them. What is important to them. Not important to me, but to them. The things that are important to my two grand daughters are really simple. Reading to them, playing with them and eating with them. Simple. For children as they grow it is basically the same. All they want is your time. Devoted to them. A safe place where they matter. Yes that family with seven children did hurt my heart. I let the ball drop and assumed someone was helping them out for the holiday season. So I need to step up my own eyes and look deeper into the eyes around me and see. Really see.