100% of my day is spent within 20 footsteps of a child. I spend a lot of time thinking about children: how different they are, how smart they are, how funny they are, how they are so loving, but defiant, how easy it is to love them, and (due to the nature of the work I do) how devastating it is to bear as an observer of the aftermath of their hurt.
One observation I made while rocking my “future linebacker” to sleep is how trusting he is of me. I have not known him my entire life. I don’t even know what he is saying half the time, but he is allowing me to hold him at a vulnerable time, sing to him, and rock him in my arms. During the day, I serve as a target for slaps, punches, projectiles, and spit. None of that matters, when the moon rises in the Texas sky. I’m no more a target. I’m a caregiver. For being two years old he trusts me with everything. He sits on my lap and knows, I will keep him safe. He can trust me.
It is the same yet different for my “future princess”. She tells me everything. She enjoys the safety in my arms, but knows she can trust that I will listen to her speak. Whether it is a youthful (ironic because she is not even 5) recollection of when she pooped on herself or a more serious conversation about all she has seen in her life (which is too much. God save her. It is too much) she speaks freely. She knows my love for her does not serve as a reinforcement for positive behaviors. Whether she has a stellar day and makes great decisions or throws back-to-back-to-back tantrums, I love her. I will rock her in my arms, push her on the swings, sing “Rock-a-by Baby” until the words mush together. She trusts me.
How different it is from adulthood. We are so untrusting, rightfully so. Unlike my “future linebacker and princess” most of our lives have been in progress for decades. My children have led lives, where if they NEVER trusted an adult again, it would be logical. I don’t know how children are so resilient It is simply an indication of how much God does love them.
God bless my children. Allow me to show the love of Christ in me, and may that love direct them to you. Let years of harsh treatment and maltreatment not wear on their spirits. Allow them to be uplifted. I lift them to you. God bless them. God heal them. God love them.