Thursday, September 24, 2009

Kids, Kids, Kids

So....last night we watched the depressing movie "Crossing Over." It dealt with people struggling to immigrate and live legally in America. I say depressing because, well, the stories are not always the happy ending, "Welcome to America, Land of the Free" that we expect. Families were torn apart, adjustments to life had to be made, people DIED. I can't say that it was my most favourite movie ever. Nor can I say I even really liked it. It certainly was thought provoking.

There was one scene where a little girl is awaiting a new family to adopt her. They show her in this huge, sterile room with two rows of metal beds. When it's time for sleep, the lights are slammed off unceremoniously and the call of "bed time girls. Lights out!" is heard. That's it, that's all. The floodgates opened.

My husband is well aware that I'm a mess when it comes to thinking about children and their right to a happy, safe, healthy childhood. It absolutely kills me to think about all of the children out there like that little girl with no one meeting their basic human needs. One of those being affection. I can't imagine laying in a bed, never getting hugged or told someone loved me or being tucked in at night. It's heartbreaking.

It lead me to thinking about children in abusive homes or who witness atrocities we can't imagine in our countries. It made me think of children who live on the streets or suffer sexual abuses. I was tearing up thinking about all of the kids out there with no parents or family who love them more than life itself; the way I do my own two.

HOW do we expect these children, in these situations, to grow up to be productive, healthy adults in our world? Right. We can't expect that. Yet, many of us carry our own baggage from our childhoods throughout our lives and struggle along hoping we can make it and be okay. We try to check our neurosis at the door. Most of us though had "someone." At least one individual in our lives who loved us and cared for our well-being. What if you have NO ONE?

My husband cautioned me, "Do you really want to go there at 11 o'clock at night?" as I was furiously pondering this question and basically building a case with myself. No, I don't want to go there. Who does? But can we also afford to turn a blind eye and pretend it doesn't exist?

The truth is, it effects all of us. Our children will surely be going to school with some of these children who are suffering. They'll definitely be interacting as adults. Maybe we can't save the world. Maybe we can't save them all. There's got to be SOMETHING though we can all do? I think extending our love to just one child other than our own, or one family struggling, might just make a small, but needed difference.

I don't have all the answers, obviously. Heck, I don't think I really even have any of the answers.
But every time I start to think about things like this, I feel a call to action. I just haven't figured out what that role is supposed to be for me.

It's time though to stop crying about it all and start doing something about those tears. I have no clue what that is, like I said, but it's something I'll be thinking about and hoping to make a difference with, in my lifetime.

Children truly ARE all of our futures. They all deserve a chance at theirs.

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