My day started off well when I met ‘Blessing’, who was a cheerful young man living out his name. I couldn’t help myself and asked him the origin of his name. “I was a blessing to my mother when I was born, so she called me ‘Blessing’, my official name on my ID”. How wonderful to start life with an identity of being a blessing to a mother. Such joy and affirmation to the unfolding life of a delightful person. I can identify with this mother who was indeed blessed with her new born son. I have three sons who are each in their own way a blessing to me. I can also identify with this mother who opened her heart to baby Blessing; he was her blessing and she was his.
Children are our biggest blessings in our communities. They bring joy, laughter and delight with their new discoveries. Children however are just in themselves a blessing without even having to do something. I was reminded of this playing with my new friend, Anya. When I met Anya, a three year old who was initially shy, I even wondered if she had lost her tongue. She watched me and worked out that I could be a reasonable playmate. Her observations may have been accurate, and we made up a game together that involved her sitting on my rhythmic lap that was a pretend wave in the sea and enjoying the waves until she slid off onto the ground and rolled around in the shallow waters. There was no toy, just a simple game, and a time of being playful.
Opening myself up to this ‘wave game’ was a choice and became a mutual joy. Anya had fun playing on a human wave, and I enjoyed being a wave. I have always secretly wanted to be a wave. Anya was a blessing to me and I was a blessing to her. This joy lifted both of our spirits.
It is perhaps hard to think that as parents we can be a blessing to our children, especially if our own parents did not delight in us. This is not important to a child, as they see their parents as a blessing, no matter what. Children in their innocence see beyond parents’ insecurities and are open to absorb any adoration. But to be honestly enjoyed and loved is a huge blessing in itself for anyone. We are learning something about love; children learn about love by first being loved and enjoyed. It didn’t surprise me that ‘Blessing’ was such a cheerful person and this was his world view; his mother had shown her attitude and love towards him by choosing his name, my Blessing.
Let us all choose to be open to little children and the blessing that they bring to us. Let us be open to the challenges children face, illnesses, disabling conditions, failures and disappointments, adoption, effects of drug, alcohol and emotional abuse. This is not the choice of any child. Let us look beyond all this harsh reality of life and choose to see each and every child in our community as a blessing. By every child, I do mean every child including those with disabilities. If we are open to children who are different, and ready to play with them, we may see their own uniqueness and the joy that they bring to us. Every child deserves nurturing care and opportunities to reach their own potential.
Let us be a blessing to all children. Let all children be a blessing to us.