Monday, January 21, 2013

-repost for MLK day- A New One

This is a post I put up in January of 2010. Its been a few years, but I got nothing to add. Praying today, like all days, for eyes to see little places where I can be a person of truth and justice, and the strength to show up and do the work.

Dr. Martin Luther King was the topic of lunch discussion again today with my preschoolers. Yesterday we had listened to his “I Have A Dream” speech and I had told them that Dr. King was one of my heroes. I told them that he loved Jesus. I explained that he stood up for what was right and encouraged other people to do the same, even when it was dangerous and unpopular. I told them that some people hadn’t treated others fairly and that they were angry with Dr. King. I did not mention that he was assassinated.

During today’s discussion, I decided to tell them that someone killed Dr. King because he was fighting for what was right. They just looked at me. Then Sis spoke.

“But is there a new one?”

“New what,” I asked.

“A new one telling people about what is right.”

I was taken aback. The loss of Dr. King’s eloquent voice and his gift for galvanizing a movement was obvious, even to a four year old so many decades after the end of his beautiful life. While I staggered she caught me with her left-hook.
“Is it mostly just boys who do this?”

I quickly assured her that women speak up for truth as often as men. That her voice is as powerful and significant as that of her brother. Then I cleared the dishes, dumbstruck by the clarity of youth.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Sustenance and Candy

Someday I may tell the babies that I always knew that they stayed up for an hour after bedtime giggling and sharing contraband flashlights, sneaking candy, telling jokes with the words potty, and imagining what it will be like when their real parents (the nice, rich ones) finally come for them. Or maybe I won't. Either way, I am glad they have each other.

Thank you, Jesus, for these babies. And for the ways they feed each other's souls with sustenance (and candy) that they just can't get from their mama.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

To the Mother of These Three at the Beginning of the Year

To the Mother of These Three at the Beginning of the Year,

These three are amazing little souls. And they are trying really hard to:
Fit in
Put their sock away the first time
Close cupboard doors
Use kind words
Learn to read
Learn to do math
Learn the names of the continents
Learn French
And how to figure out right from left
And right from wrong
And how to know when enough is enough
And how to use words like boogers and potty and toot and not get in trouble.

The oldest especially wants to be you.
Move slow.
Assume their intentions are good.
Praise some more.
Laugh some more.
Remember how the oldest cried when she had to cut her hair, since she still wants to match her mom.

And when you are in the bleachers, actually watch the game
And cheer really loud.
And hold hands with them during singing time at church.

You can still make them try foods they don’t like
And let them know your expectations are high.
Its okay to tell them when you are tired, or mad, or mad and tired.

Just be gentle.
These three are amazing souls.
And getting to know them better in 2013 will be your honor.

Melkam Genna

Today we celebrated Christmas as it falls on the Ethiopian calendar (a day early, actually). Some wonderful friends from Ethiopia hosted lunch and I wandered around a loud and happy house filled with gratitude to God for these friends who have happened into our lives for a season.