A long time ago I met a girl who loved children. She loved everybody actually. We became close friends and later roommates for several years. She could be infuriatingly optimistic, seeing the good side of everybody and everything, almost to the point of ridiculousness. Or so I thought back then. When we were roommates she was working as a daycare provider while going to school for Art Therapy. I often would tag along with her to work when she needed help with the kids. She always amazed me by making each child feel special and by treating them so respectfully and kindly. They loved her in return and would literally glow when receiving her attention.
One summer we were living in an apartment in Bangor and she had bought a huge Fuscia to hang on our deck. It was gorgeous but at the time I couldn’t imagine taking the time to water that thing every day. A Fuscia needs copious amounts of water and then it will bloom like crazy. Miss one day of watering and it immediately starts wilting. I thought it was silly to buy something that took so much work. My roomie on the other hand was always on the look-out for things that needed extra care; sometimes I think even me.
Fast forward about 25 years….last month I decided I wanted a Fuscia for Mother’s Day and my family went to a greenhouse and picked one out for our deck. Normally I only grow things I consider to be useful, like food and herbs. I don’t have time for ‘needless things’. But having something beautiful at the entrance to our home, something that needs a little extra care, is a simple reminder to me. I am surrounded by the beauty of children day in and day out. With a little extra care every day they will bloom and thrive.
So to my friend and to all people who give a little extra every day to make a child feel special; to all those who offer their precious time and energy to make a difference in a child’s life, thank you.
Happy Father’s Day.