It’s Personal

24 Oct

Last week, Miles was sick with a strange fever for 4 1/2 days. After I complained on Facebook about our school nurse sending him home with a 99.1 temp on Wed, it quickly got higher. ( Yes, I learned a lesson! 🙂 My apologies to the school nurse.)   His eyes were glossy, tylenol barely helped and he pretty much layed down the whole time, going from chair to couch, couch to chair. He was miserable. Our days included movies, TV, naps, baths and lots of watermelon. (FYI – watermelon is not cheap in late October.)Even though he’s smiling for this picture, he’s not well.

And just a few blocks away, my niece and her mom were visiting for a few days at Dave’s parents.  My niece just turned 1 last week so we took Logan over for lots of cuddles and love, including Miles doped up on Motrin the day of her actual party. She does not lack in attention and everything she does or says is met by high-pitched praise from everyone.  She is loved!

This weekend, I was thinking about Miles, at home, snuggled up being sick.  I thought about my niece, bopping around, chewing on things, babbling and loving life.  I thought about Logan, ready for his spelling test on Friday, certain he was going to get a 4.  I thought about all of the kids that I knew who were doing something that was bettering their life and likely doing it with an adult showing them love and respect.

That’s all such good stuff! Love and respect and ability.  But with that, I can’t help but think globally.  I thought about those kids who don’t have that luxury of being sick, taking a day (or three) to do nothing but rest because they have to work jobs harder than I’ve ever had to do. The ones who can’t even put their head down at home in case they are snatched in the middle of the night to fight a war children should never fight.  So they sleep like this.  The kids who can’t go to school and will never be able to take a test, even though they want to because school costs money, and there aren’t enough jobs.  The ones who aren’t be-bopping around, chewing on things because they are stuck in these things for much of the day.   Kids who aren’t allowed sick days because they live here and there are too many children in the family and far too much work to do(please, click these link and just peek.)

And I take it personally! I take it personally because I am a mom and I love my children so painfully much that the idea of children living in situations like these kill me.  The blessed life I have is ridiculous!  We get two paychecks coming in each month.  Dave’s is the real deal, mine is really our fun money.  We have FUN money.  We can go to Target or the grocery store today and satisfy our sweet tooth, get new fluffy pillows or a brand new pair of shoes easily.  My stomach grumbles and I walk over to my stuffed pantry and consider exactly what my stomach is craving and if it’s not in there, I’ll pick something up when I go out.  I throw food away that I didn’t get around to eating! I give scraps to my dog.  I buy excess clothing just because I want to.  I have about 30 pair of shoes.  How ridiculous am I?

The reality is that few of us know what it’s like to even SEE what it is like in countries that don’t live like we do.  How many of us have gone and worked in an orphanage in China or Russia, to a remote village in Africa, a tent-city in Haiti or a brick factory in India that runs on child workers.  But the reality is there. We choose to live in our bubble. The info is out there.  We could easily educate ourselves, but we choose to think about something a little less depressing.

And the crazy thing is that I’m such a complainer. No cold soda in the refrigerator?  *grumble*  I would absolutely never let myself run out of coffee cream.  It was a busy day so let’s just pick up pizza for dinner.  Our furniture is old. We NEED new ones.   I do NOT have the right pair of black shoes. Or boots. Or pants. I’m completely embarrassed by my idea of necessity.

Can you even imagine this:

So the question remains, what I am (you?) going to do about it.  Where does you money go? What if instead of the new shoes I wanted to buy, I donated it.  20 stinking dollars gives one person clean drinking water for 20 years.  $30 a month could save a child’s life, literally.

I can’t even fathom how vast the need when my country’s blessings are so great which is why I try to educate myself.  I know it is so easy to gloss over things like this and not think about them because who really wants to think about dying children?  I get it! I really do!  Not trying to sound like a PSA, but we each can make a difference.

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