Saturday, October 11, 2008
My Heavy Heart and the Silver Lining...
Someone asked me yesterday, "Do you like being a mother?"
My response was, "Absolutely. Being a mother changes the way I see things, the good and the bad."
Everyday when I look at my babies I am reminded of their struggle to survive in the hospital for two months because of their early delivery. Today, I see their round faces and "fat bottoms," as I have affectionately nicknamed one child praying it won't do more psychological damage than good (!) and I long for the day that their is interaction between myself and them other than the basic steps to care for them. About a month ago I had lunch with this same friend of mine and heard her almost 3 year old son scream, "MaaaaaaMaaaaaa!" from his room as he was ready to be finished with nap time and wanted her to come and scoop him up. She doesn't know this but every time I go to my babies cribs I hear that sweet voice say, "MaaaaaaMaaaaa" knowing that someday, to my babies, "mama" will be me. That is the good I see right now.
The bad is that I also realize the sobering fact that their are millions of unwanted, lonely, abandoned, abused children out there who will never know what love is and will never learn how to love.
A baby comes into this world requiring only three basic things: food, sleep, and affection. If denied any of these actions the child will either die or grow into a troubled and perhaps lonely and/or dangerous person. There is a medical term called "Failure to Thrive" that refers to a child's inability to gain weight due to a physical disorder affecting basic ingestive, digestive, and excretory functions of the body. Also, there is "nonorganic FTT," a term that is used to categorize children that exhibit depression and apathy as a result of poor parenting skills and depression among a caregiver. This, to me, sounds like the medical name for "what happens when life doesn't practice the Golden Rule."
This is the bad I see and the bad that I am about to be re-exposed to when I return to work in a school where this is a lot of love, no doubt, and also a lot of love undiscovered that manifests itself in school aged children with the failure to thrive socially, emotionally, and academically.
This morning I charge myself to see the "silver lining" in returning to work... the silver lining is that my children will be cared for and loved by a friend I trust while I spend 8 hours in a building among hundreds of children that need a lesson... on love.