Thursday, December 16, 2010

Thank God For Kids

Thank God for kids, there's magic for a while
A special kind of sunshine in a smile
Do you ever stop to think or wonder why
The nearest thing to heaven is a child...

This verse comes from a special song by the Oak Ridge Boys called Thank God For Kids. It came into my mind today during a conversation I had with my sister. She mentioned, with tears in her eyes, a conversation she overhead at work recently. One of her co workers, who is divorced, was talking about her kids. She was complaining because she had to have them more often than her ex husband does. She said she wishes she could just dump them on him.

We both sat quietly as we thought about that, then Becky said, "how can we expect our world to be a productive, happy place, when so many of us are tossing our kids aside like they don't matter!"

Her comment made me sad because I think there is a lot of truth to it. I worry about the kids who aren't getting the love and nurturing they are entitled. I am not pointing any fingers, and heaven knows I made plenty of mistakes raising my own two boys. I'm just suggesting maybe we need to help each other a little more. Maybe we need to go out of our way a little bit more to reach a child who is hurting.  

I used to babysit when my kids were young. One of the girls I kept was wild! She would break toys, and scream for no reason. She was hard to control and I am ashamed to tell you, I wasn't very nice to her. I tried, but she always seemed to push my buttons. I finally had to tell her mom I couldn't keep her anymore. It broke my heart, but I felt it was best.

Several years later, I ran into her.  I didn't think she recognized me, but she did. She asked to be sure, and when I confirmed, she told me how much she loved coming to my house. She also said she appreciated me for being so nice to her.  I gave her a hug and left.

I felt such shame...and then my heart broke. If she felt loved at my house, then it made me wonder what she was feeling at her own house. I wish I could go back and do it over again and treat her the way she deserved to be treated.

Listen, life is hard. It seems to be getting harder to be a good parent. We all have so many pressures on us, and our children do as well. I just hope somehow, the course we are on will change and kids can get back to being kids. And feeling safe. And loved. 

Is that asking too much?

1 comment:

Ryan and Mistie said...

That brought tears to my eyes and big old lump in my throat. I have spent all week at Primary Children's with my sister and her baby girl. It knocks you back to reality of the blessing "our problems" are. Ryan and I have a particular challenge w/one of the boys ... we have prayed and prayed about it - and got the answer that we were going about it ALL wrong! Holy cow! With the help of a loving Heavenly Father, I understand how to BETTER love and parent that little dude.
This message today was just what I needed.

I love ya, Jane!