“Close your eyes, Mom!” He commands. His hands are held behind his back and his face conveys the excitement of the moment. He cannot wait until Mother’s Day. It’s Friday afternoon and school is finally out. Sunday is an eternity away. “But it’s not even Mother’s Day yet.” I explain with a smile. “I know, but you don’t have to wait that long. You can open them now.” He presents the packages with a flourish. His face is full of joy, anticipation and laughter. I find the most pleasure in my life comes from watching my children enjoy theirs.
The presents are magnets and cards made at school. The cards are written in his terrible nine year old boy scribble, but I can tell he has tried to write as neatly as possible. I can see the effort he has made to make his letters uniform, and keep his mistakes to a minimum. The card is full of sweetness and declarations of love. I am once again won over by his beautiful, kind heart. The difficulty of motherhood is forgotten in the warmth of the moment shared between mother and child. Love in its simplest and purist form is captured in both the imperfection and majesty of family.
I watch him place the magnets on the refrigerator with pride, and I am suddenly struck by a harsher reality. I am sure there were children in his school who had no one to make a Mother’s Day card for. They could make the project for a substitute family member or a surrogate caregiver, but is it really the same? Were they filled with sorrow during the normally fun activity? When the other children were eager to skip math and make an art project instead, how many wished for the safety of their routine? It’s tough being the only kid in class without a mom. It’s terribly unfair. Every child deserves a mother. Every child deserves a family.
When you break it right down to the heart of the issue, every child deserves to be loved.
I enjoyed my Mother’s Day presents. I will cherish the broken sentences crafted in adoration from the heart of my boy. I know that soon he will be too old, or too cool, to share his heart so openly. I am grateful for the moment. But, I long for a time when there will be no more parentless children. I am not alone in this desire. It is at the heart of all we do here at A Family For Every Child. Our mission is simple….no more parentless children.