children

These, Our Children

April 6, 2012

We were talking, some of us on the learning tour, about why the children that we’ve met in Uganda have had such an effect on us. I said – as I have so very many times in the past – that I believe that people who are parents are more likely than others to be moved by children like these, and by all children, by the plight of children, by the ways in which the world can hurt children. Maybe this isn’t fair to say, I said – to a small clutch of people, all of whom parents – but I think that it’s true. And the reason that I think it’s true is this: for me, every child is my child. Could be my child. My child in the past, my child in the future, my child in some other future, my child in some other life for which they might have been destined but for the whim or caprice or blessing of God. “That could be my child, ” I think. “That child could be mine.” I think that this is true for most parents: if you’re really looking, really paying attention, every child is your child.

And so you feel everything that you feel on their behalf – hurt, fear, anxiety, hope – right in the heart, right in the gut.

So I said, and so I did. I do.

May it compel me to do more, to be more, for them, and for my own children, and for all children.

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It’s banal to say that we need to save the children. It’s less banal to say that we need – we want, we should want – to save our children. Which is who these children are – they’re no less the children of mothers and fathers and grandparents and siblings who love them than are ours. So. I’m not saying that you have to work to save children (or moms, or families), just that, maybe, if you have a minute, you could think about them. (And if you want to do something — The CARE Action Network, or CAN, is a group of CARE supporters working to educate our nation’s leaders about issues of global poverty. Please check them out.)

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The Exultation Of The Possible

April 4, 2012

Kampala, Uganda / April 2012 (I am here, learning.) (Here is something I have learned. It was not a lesson that I expected, and is all the more precious for that.) (Yes, I found the words. As I knew I would.) (“Play is the exultation of the possible” – Martin Buber said that. He was [...]

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Words For Things For Which Words Can’t Suffice

April 3, 2012

This guy. This guy just embodies all that is wonderful and disconcertingly beautiful about the children here, in Kampala. He is all round cheeks and soft skin and tiny chubby hands and a pout – the pout that is, I think, universal to toddlers – but, too, he is solemn, and proud, and his eyes [...]

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I Don’t Take My Shirt Off For Just Anyone, You Know

August 19, 2011

So the other day there was this post on Jezebel about this photograph of Kate Moss and her daughter that had been photoshopped in the weird way that magazine photos usually get photoshopped, and although it wasn’t a particularly interesting post – I like their ‘Photoshop Of Horrors’ posts, generally, but more to gawk at [...]

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Let Us All Submit To Love

February 14, 2011

When Virgil wrote, in his tenth Eclogue, that love conquers all – omnia vincit amor – he was not making a statement about the power of love to overcome all obstacles. He was not suggesting that love can or should prevail over anyone or anything that might stand in its way; he was not asserting [...]

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Why You Should Care That It’s World Aids Day

December 1, 2010

Because this girl deserves a future filled with hope. So does this girl, and these boys. Because we all deserve a world filled with hope. Because we all – we all – deserve a world in which hope is more equitably distributed. Because there is hope, and lots of it: we just have to seize [...]

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This Narrow Valley

April 28, 2010

There’s a home for the elderly that Emilia and Jasper and I pass every day on our walks to and from preschool and junior kindergarten and ballet lessons and karate. Emilia calls the ladies who live there her ladies – “we need to wave to my ladies, Mommy!” -  and she waves and blows kisses [...]

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10 Things I Hate About Motherhood (And One That I Love)

April 20, 2010

A writer at Newsweek wrote last week about how her son – and the general state of being that is motherhood – is torturing her. Then a writer at Jezebel responded to the story with something very close to exasperation: “I was left, as I often am by pieces on parenting, at sea. Nowadays, there [...]

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Now We Are Four

November 16, 2009

Dear Emilia, This weekend, you turned four years old. You were so excited to turn four years old. For months you asked how many weeks it would be before you turned four, and for weeks you asked that we count down the days until you turned four, and for days you insisted that we tick [...]

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