I am sitting at the lake enjoying the peace after a day of company. The husband has gone back to the city to prepare for the week's work. I am lucky and yes I consider myself lucky, to have my summers off, so I often stay behind for some quiet time at the lake.
My solitude is interrupted by the vibration of the cell phone...it is the youngest daughter. She has gone to the state fair and is texting me, a phone call takes too much effort I guess. Her message, "the fair is more fun with you!" I text her back and believe me, it is much more effort for me than a phone call: "everything is more fun with me." And she responds with, "yea yea." I can see her eyes rolling and I laugh. She can always make me laugh.
As I have watched this one grow into an adult, I have been unsure of who she is. She is very guarded with her feelings, preferring to retreat inward...to learn to take care of herself. As a young child she spent hours playing alone...content to be by herself, comfortable in her own skin even at a very young age. I didn't understand at the time, she was preparing herself for the unconventional paths she would soon walk down.
This daughter of mine is on a mission to discover her passion. Her latest attempt involves becoming a paramedic/firefighter. My Lou...five foot tall and 100 pounds after a double cheeseburger meal and a large fry. I can tell you that no where in the casting of any mold did I include axes, hoses, ladders and fire trucks for her. But she is determined and when she becomes determined there is no stopping her. She recently passed her EMT Basic exam ...she is on her way (I am PROUD).
She has an ardent desire to take care of people. I have seen that in her ever since she could carry a baby doll. The tender way she ministered to the needs of these imitation infants...rocking, feeding and nurturing them as if they were flesh and blood.
She has since traded in the polymer babies of her youth and finds herself part of the village, caring for children while their parents seek to make a living. For ten hours a day, this daughter of mine, loves and cares for these infants as if they were her own. And often, better than the parents they came from.
Recently, a text appeared..."Mom, I'm emailing you a picture of one of my babies." My thoughts run from, "Not another picture of someone's baby I have to oh and ah over" to "I'm busy." But I humor her and wait for the mail to arrive...there are oh's and ah's. And then tears.
For the picture I am pondering is one of a beautiful tow-haired infant with an indescribable black eye. The pictures of the burns on her torso would not transmit. My daughter is beside herself. The story of the injuries is flimsy at best, the daycare administration is unconcerned. The potential injustice will not be addressed.
The story is long and involved....I will cut to the chase. Foolish were those involved who did not take this seriously. The little girl who so diligently made sure her baby dolls had nothing but the best, was not going to allow this to be swept under the carpet. She took a stand...a stand that cost her personally. She doesn't regret it for one minute
Children...they are the precious resources of our world. Tragically there is no criteria, no license or test required for giving birth or becoming the life-long caretaker of a child. And though I am not a fan, Hillary was right about one thing, it does take a village. For when the parents fail their own, it is up to us, the members of the village to protect our precious resources.
I am proud to shout from floor to rafters, this is MY daughter and she is a member of your village.