May 10, 2006

Everybody's Children

The headlines clash with the glorious sunshine out there. Cecelia's death finally explained, though no more understood. Pansies planted for Holly as these two families face the rebirth of spring by being faced, every morning, with the stillness of their homes.

There is nothing more glorious than a child. The possiblity, the potential, the awakening - nothing can compete with the optimism that wakes up every day, pulls on yesterday's jeans and just knows today will be great. Why can't we keep them safe?

Here's a small way we can try. It's a story, because that's how I relate things that matter to me. Many, many years ago, my mother was walking down a main street here in Burlington. 100 yards ahead of her was a small girl, maybe 8, who was skipping along, oblivious to much around her. As my mother watched, a car pulled up to the girl.

The driver leaned across, and opened the window. My mother, her antennas twitching, watched as he spoke to the child. The child went to open the car door, and my mother sprinted into action. My mother was not the sprinting type.

As the girl got the door open, my mother pushed herself between the child and the door. "Do you now this man?" she demanded. "Well, yeah, it's my dad," came the reply.

My mother felt like a fool. The father was beyond grateful. I'm sure the little kid was just confused.

Risk feeling like a fool.


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