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.


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

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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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