Taking It Back To The Beginning
A few weeks ago I posted about how I had taken about a week off from social media, completely. Truth be told I’m still not 100% “back”. Social media is funny like that. In the sense that a near week offline will seem like a year away depending on how one chooses to look at it. How connected or ‘plugged in’ you were. Honestly, I was THAT person.
I came back with three interviews for the End Hunger Challenge project lined up, and ended up having to reschedule one due to technical difficulties on my end. I really hate those (technical difficulties). One thing I realized during my time away, and I am still learning..is how much I allowed it to consume my life.
My own daughter tells me to never give up on ending child hunger, or hunger in general. She tells me that if I don’t keep fighting who will? A battle that consumes you 24/7 comes at what cost? If I never walk away from posting on as many websites as I can, Facebook, Twitter, emailing, etc…I will literally be able to sit here from sun up to sun down and watch my children’s lives pass right by me. I will also, for a brief moment be able to look up and see the children outside whom I have forgotten about.
You see, when I started helping others in need it wasn’t for glory or recognition. It was simply because I knew in my heart that it was the right thing to do. I became a parent and in a brief moment my outlook on life changed.
My oldest daughter was starting Kindergarten and riding the big bus for the first time. Most moms can relate to this first day of school milestone. Your baby is growing up.
As winter approached I would walk my daughter to her bus stop because she has quite the hill to climb and she was little. Every day there was a little girl there who would cover her hands by her face and blow on them to try to stay warm. Wearing shoes with the soles falling apart, and a jacket just a bit too short. Even with gloves (if she had any) skin was still exposed. I asked my daughter if she knew who that girl was, and she told me “no momma”. The days went on, my daughter and I would make small talk with her. It’s been 10 years now, even if I wanted to remember her name I would have no idea what it was. What I DID find out was this…
She was living with a family member while one parent was in jail and the other was in rehab for drugs. The sad part was that I found this out from the little girl. While she was not necessarily happy to disclose it, it had become such a normal part of her life that she wasnt exactly sad either. The days became colder and so did she. My heart could not take another Minnesota morning. ..
After the kids got on the bus, I got in my car and drove to Target. I bought her a new hat, warm mittens, and boots. Her toes would not freeze another day on my watch. I didn’t have to buy her a jacket because with four girls in the house I happened to have an extra that was just her size. When the kids came home I handed her a gift bag with everything inside.
You would think this would be a picture perfect happy ending right? If memory serves me correctly, whomever she was staying with was NOT happy that she was given all these “nice things”. I’ve never had such an uneasy feeling in my stomach in all my life. I’m all for not spoiling children, but are you for real? It is beyond my comprehension how a human could do that to another, especially an adult to an innocent child.
The next morning I dreaded bringing my daughter down to the bus stop for fear of how she may be dressed. To my surprise she had on all the things I had bought for her. She told me that she would hide the gloves, hat, boots, and whatever she could; in her backpack and put them on when she was out of sight of her house. This was child from a child 6yrs of age. Survival skills.
Over the days, weeks, and months, I would send an extra snack in my daughters backpack to give to her if needed; as well as anything else we could sneak to her that would not cause the little girl to get in trouble for being given “nice things”.
That one little girl is how it all began. She is what changed me from the mindset of “it’s not my problem”, to “I need to be the one to make the change”.
Originally published at cupcakesglitterglue.wordpress.com on April 15, 2015.