November 22, 2010

Thankfulness, Part 1

I think I’ll write all this week about thankfulness.

There is a little boy who goes to the wonderful daycare and preschool where my twins go. He’s in their class. He’s such a sweet little boy. He’s of Hispanic descent, with fine brown skin and dark brown hair closely cut and large almond-shaped brown eyes. That’s what you notice first ~ his beautiful eyes. He looks a little like those animal cards with the oversized eyes but in a real soulful way, not a cliché’d kitschie way. He’s a thoughtful boy. He doesn’t say much, just views the world through those large beautiful eyes.

His mom is young, maybe early twenties. She has piercings and tats, and she has a slender dark-haired beauty. She always wears jeans, and she gives you a shy smile if you smile at her ~ a tucking in of the chin, a glancing at you from under her forehead. She’s seems like she’s patient with her son when she’s picking him up, and he adores her.

But I’ve seen her pick up her son, more than once, so drunk she couldn’t hardly function. Once, she literally wandered across the street to the park across the way, him trailing faithfully behind, and then she fell over onto the grass and could not get up. Falling down drunk. The head of the daycare, a wonderful caring woman, made sure that someone else was driving.

Last Friday, we had a Thanksgiving lunch at daycare where all the parents were invited. The wonderful folks made turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, green bean casserole, fruit salad, and rolls, and the kids made some pies. It was great. The kids sang a powwow song, and there must’ve been over 100 people crammed into the Big Room. At our table, we went around and said what we were thankful for. This lovely little boy said he was thankful for his mom. Only she wasn’t there ~ she couldn’t make it, though she’d told him that she would be there. He kept looking around for her, and by the end of the meal, he was visibly upset about it.

It just tears my heart out. I go out of my way to talk to this little boy, and I tell my twins that they need to be nice to kids that seem to be having a hard time. I’m sure it doesn’t make that much of a difference, but what else can you do? It’s things like this that prompt us to always take cards from the giving trees at work or Kmart and buy something and for my husband’s family to put money in a pot and give it to charity instead of doing a gift exchange (excluding kids, of course - they get gifts) and to regularly give to other charities.

Why start the week of thankfulness with a story like this? Because this is exactly why we need to be thankful and let our thankfulness spill over to others. We need to have a spirit of generosity born of compassion for those less fortunate. And this compassion needs to infuse our Art (more on this in future posts).

Questions of the Day: How do you respond when you see things like this? How do you deal with it?


Daisy Hickman said...

Loved this -- thankful for your thoughts!

We need to have a spirit of generosity born of compassion for those less fortunate. And this compassion needs to infuse our Art (more on this in future posts).

Tamara said...

Thank you, Daisy!