|Me and 13-year-old Natasha, April 2013|
There is one exception. I have one card posted that has been part of the room's decoration for months and months without fading into the wallpaper. This card I purpose to read several times a day because I need its crucial reminder. I need the words to penetrate my thick head and stubborn heart. I need the words to penetrate my self-absorption. What does the card say? "Every child needs a protector, an advocate and a confidant.*"
It's a simple message. Just 10 words. Ten very insightful words. The need of every child is as profound as their soul is fragile. Kids need someone to shelter them from the worst the world has to offer. Kids need someone to stand up for them. Finally, kids need adults in their corner who will nurture their dreams. The only way I can function in those roles is to know each of my children. And the only path to knowing my kiddos' is to slow down long enough to listen when they're ready to talk--no matter what time that takes place--day or night. So when I'm tired, I return to the card in my bathroom and read it yet again, "Every child needs a protector, an advocate and a confidant." That 24/7 availability is what differentiates me from an orphanage caretaker. Orphanage workers have their own homes and families. They go home at night. Not me. I'm a mom. 24/7--by God's grace, through His power, in His strength.
*I wish I could give the author credit of the phrase credit for her wisdom. One day while at my computer, I flew past this sentence on a blog when I didn't have time to read the author's post. I just jotted the note and thought I'd return to read the her full explanation later. By the time I made it back to my blog roll, the article was long gone in today's cyber world and couldn't even remember which blog the words had come from. My apologies.