Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Last Thursday Libbey asked me (and Sissy, too!) to join her for lunch at school..."They're serving cheesy breadsticks, corn, and salad, Mommy--I don't even want to bring my lunch from home!"

How could I resist such an invitation?

Caroline and I sat at a round table with Libbey and a few of her classmates, enjoying our food, waving to all the children who called out , "Hey Libbey's Mommy!" and chatting with several of the adults also present. (A close family friend, a cousin, and a church member...yes, my child is surrounded by loved ones throughout her day at school.)

While eating, I also heard quite a few boisterous children. Noticed a couple of little girls who seemed rather withdrawn. Saw children cramming their mouths full with food...children whom I'm certain are not fed very well at home.

With ribbons festooning both her hair and blouse, a younger friend of Libbey's made a great effort to wave to me. Sitting next to her was another little girl, wearing sweatpants far too large for her petite frame, a stained, short-sleeved t-shirt, and hair that may or may not have been washed since the dawn of 2010.

I could barely choke down the remains of my meal.

To keep myself from crying, I asked Libbey and her friends about the test they had just taken, on magnets & poles. ("I made a hundred!" each child promised.)

When it came time for Libbey to return to her classroom, she hugged Caroline, hugged me, then walked off. Just as she got to the lunchroom door, she turned back and said, "Love y'all!"


I made it to the parking lot before I fell apart. And I did fall apart...into a mess of weepy, blubbery tears.

My child attends school each day in clean clothes, with freshly a washed head and face, as well as freshly scrubbed teeth (after her belly has been filled with breakfast, of course). I pack more than enough food for her lunch each day, and when I pick her up in the afternoon she knows I'll always proclaim, "I love you!" and inquire, "Did you have a good day?"

Libbey is blessed. I remind her of this daily. Just as I remind her that no matter when or where she goes, what she becomes, or how old she grows, I will always love her. I will always take care of her. I will always be there for her.

I am blessed.

Mothers...grandmothers...aunts...godparents...lovers of children...whichever category you fall into...go hug your child today. Because we are all blessed.

And yes, I'm weepy again. When it comes to the love I have for my daughters, I am sappier than an episode of Little House on the Prairie or Dr. Quinn. (Oh, Sully...) I don't apologize for this...not even when I fall apart in the parking lot of the elementary school. It's warranted.


MrsKowski said...

I am weeping with you right now & feeling thankful that my babies, too, are very blessed.

Melissa, Multi-Tasking Mama said...

Beautiful sentiment! Hoping I can instill in my boys the feeling of how truly blessed they are!

Ashton Dene' said...

Oh this brought tears to my eyes. What a good mama you are. I loved, loved, when my parents would eat lunch with me. Heck, I had lunch with my dad most days in high school (he was the art teacher) even.

Your girls are lucky to have you!

x, ash

Brandy said...

Aww damn it! I wore mascara today dontcha know?!

Stuff like that just tears me to pieces. I feel so bad for the kids that aren't as blessed as yours/mine.

Bekah Buttons said...

poor little girl :(

libbey and caroline have the bestest momma!

Summer said...

You ARE such a good mama....and those girls are lucky ducky to have you....

I am too, actually. =)

Tony C said...

That's as real as it gets...

Jesus was very specific about our roles when it comes to children and the poor. I have already prayed for this little girl that I only know through your words, but God knows her well. Sometimes we think the problems are just too big for us to do anything about...but we can always pray...always.

God bless you for sharing your heart.

singedwingangel said...

Ahh I have been there many times with 3 boys.. it just ripsyour heart out..blessed is an understatement.

Alexa Mae said...

this made me cry. i completely admire you and this post. i love how it can put things in the right perspective. oh, i just want to go scoop up that little girl and hug her. thank you for sharing! you have a beautiful family.

Shannon said...

Oh, how blessed we are.

I never thought I could survive with my heart outside my body...

And my girls make me a total sap, too. Just looking at them sometimes makes me weepy!

Adrian's Crazy Life said...

Aww that's so sad. Why do people have children and not care for them. I never understand that. All children deserve to be loved and cared for.

Heather said...

This is one HUGE advantage of sending our kids to public school: exposing them to so many different kids who come from every walk of life. Whether those babies are loved at home or not, our kids have the opportunity to show them what the love of Jesus is all about.

And now I'm crying.


And for those of you who don't know Libbey, she really is that precious.

CaraBee said...

Not that I was heartless before, but my capacity for compassion has multiplied tenfold since I had my daughter. Seeing babies in need or hurt absolutely kills me. I had to stop watching news about Haiti because my heart just couldn't take it. All those little ones. It's just heartbreaking.

Our children ARE blessed. As are we.

Jenny and the Princess Peonies said...

I cried. Just as I cry before making it to the parking lot at Ash's school. Sometimes because of something I've seen and sometimes because I love my little girl so much I don't want to leave her there.

Pregnancy and raising children has turned me into a sap.

Thank you for sharing your story.

dsjohndrow said...

As a daddy of 3 girls: 22, 18, and 6, I have always shown them affection, love, and discipline. I am proud of how they have turned/turning out. Of course my wife has had a major part to play.

We have also done a little fostering - you can't imagine what it's like to have a kid arrive with nothing but dirty clothes an maybe a toy or two.

I guess what matters is that there are so many neglected kids- even at church, that are not loved - kids that needs parents, a hug, guidance as well as food shelter and a safe place.

God, I hope that I unable to look the other way when there is a child that you want me to love.


Sissy said...

I love you. And Sully.

Pinky Roth said...

This was such a touching story about my beautiful grand daughter, Libbey. She is so precious and so is Caroline. I cried also, because as you know I am that sappy.

Elena said...

Awwww...so beautiful! I watch two little children once a week while their dad goes to class. They've had a rough life thus far. A mom who abandoned them, in and out of foster care, dad in jail for a bit, it just BREAKS my heart every time I think of it. Thank goodness the dad is bettering his life and doing his best to love his babies. They've come a long way. And it sure does help me appreciate my own life and problems.

Live.Love.Eat said...

Love Ya'll? THAT is precious!!!!

I felt this post hard.....because I visit Tristan at school for lunch and see what you saw too. And I am always thankful for what I, we, have been blessed with. And also thankful that I really feel like I never take one moment of him for granted. And he is cared for. And loved for.

Live.Love.Eat said...

LOVED your title on this too. Lunch-ABLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Christina said...

That is so sad about that little girl. I probably would have lost it right there.

It must be an amazing feeling to have your little girl ask you to come to her school and eat lunch with her.

PS, I can not picture a tiny person saying y'all! That was the cutest imagine in my head.

Queenie Jeannie said...

Gorgeous post. And I agree with you 10000000%!!! It makes me so sad to see children who are neglected or poorly cared for. It's just so stinkin unfair. And I see it everyday.

Bella gets extra love today.....and always....

angie said...

Thank you for this.

I certainly feel blessed each day.

And wish there were not children out there less fortunate than mine.

Seizing My Day said...

goose bumps. I too have had that overwhelming feeling when volunteering at my daughters school.
I too feel blessed. especially in those moments. found you in the spiritual archives of SITS. =)
new follower!
Just Jenn~ www.seizingmyday.com