Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Today it really hit me that my kids have no idea how good they have it. It's not that we have a lot of money, or that they get every single thing they could ever want because that is not the case. What they don't realize is the reality of how so many other kids in the world--kids that they go to school with, have to live.

On more than one occasion recently, I've been talking with two of my friends about how sad the conditions are for children who live literally right under our noses. All I have to do is walk into my children's school and the reality hits me like a brick.

There are kids who are dirty. These are little kids who don't know to hop in the tub or shower on their own. They're at the mercy of their parents who don't make sure their hair and bodies are clean and don't worry about washing their clothes. There are kids that are hungry whose families don't have enough money to buy food.

One friend of mine was telling me about the living conditions of a little girl she and her husband had befriended because this little girl just seemed sad all the time. Her living conditions were despicable...trash everywhere, dishes everywhere, constant lice, and only a bare mattress and pillow with a wadded up blanket to cuddle with at night.

What kind of future do kids who have to grow up like this really have? Can they possibly ever get ahead in life? It breaks my heart that at such a young age their futures are bleak.

I'm not saying that these kids aren't loved. Many times the parents just don't know any other way. It's sad that the cycle seems to continue generation after generation.

Tonight when I tucked my kids in and said prayers with them, I asked them, "Do you know how blessed you are to have a warm, clean, cozy bed?" They told me that they did, but I don't really know if they truly get it. Their innocence, in some ways, is keeping them from realizing what life for some can be like.

So, I guess in many ways, I am torn. Do I want my children to fully appreciate their lives and be thankful? Yes. However, do I want to remove the veil of innocence from their eyes so they can truly grasp what life can be like? No.

In the meantime, I guess I'll just have to keep giving them gentle reminders to be thankful and be ready for questions that I really can't answer when they wonder why someone has to live like that.

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