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Thursday, May 3, 2012

Parenting Tips: A Prayer for Children

After talking in Soapbox this week about Dr Patch Adams' challenge in support of children I remembered this prayer by Mariah Wright Edelman.  It's not my usual style of post on a Parenting Tip Thursday... but it speaks volumes about raising children.  Edelman founded the Children's Defense Fund in 1973 and has been a supporter of children and children's rights ever since. 

I commend to all of you four of her writings in particular:
--The Measure of Our Success: A Letter to My Children and Yours (1992)
--Guide My Feet: Meditations and Prayers on Loving and Working for Children (1995)
--I'm Your Child, God: Prayers for Children and Teenagers.
--I Can Make a Difference: A Treasury to Inspire Our Children,

Here is a small sample of her wonderful writing and thinking...

A Prayer for Our Children
             By Marian Wright Edelman

We pray for children
Who sneak popsicles before supper,
Who erase holes in math workbooks,
Who can never find their shoes.

And we pray for those
Who stare at photographers from behind barbed wire,
Who can't bound down the street in a new pair of sneakers,
Who never "counted potatoes,"
Who are born in places we wouldn't be caught dead,
Who never go to the circus,
Who live in an X-rated world.

We pray for children
Who bring us sticky kisses and fistfuls of dandelions,
Who hug us in a hurry and forget their lunch money.

And we pray for those
Who never get dessert,
Who have no safe blanket to drag behind them,
Who watch their parents watch them die,
Who can't find any bread to steal,
Who don't have any rooms to clean up,
Whose pictures aren't on anybody's dresser,
Whose monsters are real.

We pray for children
Who spend all their allowance before Tuesday,
Who throw tantrums in the grocery store and pick at their food,
Who like ghost stories,
Who shove dirty clothes under the bed and never rinse out the tub,
Who get visits from the tooth fairy,
Who don't like to be kissed in front of the carpool,
Who squirm in church or temple and scream in the phone,
Whose tears we sometimes laugh at and whose smiles can make us cry.

And we pray for those
Whose nightmares come in the daytime,
Who will eat anything,
Who have never seen a dentist,
Who aren't spoiled by anybody,
Who go to bed hungry and cry themselves to sleep,
Who live and move, but have no being.

We pray for children who want to be carried and for those who must,
For those we never give up on and for those who don't get a second chance.
For those we smother ... and for those who will grab the hand of anybody kind enough to offer it.