Sunday, 11 January 2015

Every Child

"Come an grate de cheese!"  Mum shouted to me in her soft sing-song Bajan accent.  I jumped up excited at the prospect of being involved with preparing dinner.  I wasn't asked to help very often; I had two left hands and toes for feet, or at least that's what my dad used to say.  It wasn't my fault that things seemed to find themselves slipping through my fingers and straight onto the ground and I certainly didn't plan to trip up every time I saw a lamppost or a passing car;  I just happened to be a little clumsy. 

"Give me oil in my lamp keep it burning."  I started to sing as I approached the kitchen.  Mum was there to meet me handing me a large bowl and a block of cheese.  It didn't take more than that first line to start mum off on her 'melodious' verse, she loved to sing and our home was often filled with the sound of her voice.  We would walk to the shops and mum would be singing as though she had an audience of thousands.  Neighbours would greet her, "Someone's happy today," and with her awesome smile she would sing them the next line of her song before replying, "always."

This week the theme of the prompt is beginnings and that got me thinking about childhood, the time in which our minds are shaped, a time where we are inquisitive, moldable, vulnerable.  I thought back to my childhood, it wasn't all flowers and sweet smells but for the most part, it was a good one.  In our younger days we spent our free time dancing around the house with mum, playing dress up, watching movies like 'Annie' and Alice in 'Wonderland' over and over again, playing on the green with the children on our street; knock down ginger, forty forty home, curbies.  There was so much fun and laughter in my childhood that I can' t help but look back on it and smile.  

It also got me thinking about those who didn't have it as good as me, the children who got to watch their parents drink so much they couldn't move from the sofa without falling over.  The ones that had to make their own meals and lock themselves away for the fear of being hit for making too much noise.  The ones in war torn countries orphaned and alone.  The ones that went to bed afraid every night that they would again be joined by their abuser and the ones who had to become 'grown-ups' and look after their mothers, fathers or younger siblings because they were not well enough to look after themselves.  All around us there are children who don't have the beginnings that we would wish for our own children, the beginning that we should wish for every child.  

Working with children is something that I have always done and I have come across a lot of children where the only thing I could do to help was to listen, but the feeling that gives me knowing I have at least been there to listen is one that is indescribable.  I love that the prompt has got me thinking about what I can do to make a difference somehow and I will be working on doing just that.



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