I am home. We are home.
I always feel a twinge of guilt as I write that, say that, think that. Home is Mexico, where I have built a family, a home, a career. Three things that I would never exchange because they are the fruit of sustained effort, loving sacrifice and are the source of so much of my joy. But, home. Home is also here. Home is walking on sidewalks that don't end (Sorry, Shel Silverstein). Home is stroller accessible everything. Home is customer service. Home is grandparents doing the morning parenting while I catch a few more minutes of sleep. Home is sisters, nephews, dear friends. Home is a church that fills my heart with so much joy.
Home is diversity. Beautiful diversity when during swimming lessons, with one glance around the pool deck, there are children and parents who are Asian, Indian, Middle Eastern, African American, White, Mexican. Beautiful diversity where in one room at story time at the public library, people of all walks of life, from every corner of the planet, can come together for one reason. Our children.
In such beautiful diversity, something weighs heavily on my heart. These children, mine included, are so fortunate and so blessed- family, love, citizenship and literacy. Four incredible gifts that they could never get from Santa, or buy online, or even consider asking for. This does not hurt; it empowers me to empower them. What is deeply saddening is knowing the sickening number of children who do not know any of these four gifts. Children, who have suffered in ways that my children will hopefully never know and who, by God's grace and good luck, have found their way into our land. We have the gall to ask ourselves if these children should or should not be our responsibility by way of our government?
I understand and believe in the purpose and value of borders, visas, and much of the migratory mumbo jumbo. I do. For adults. For adults who are making a choice- be it for their families, for their careers, for the American dream, for money, or for fun.
They are children. They are children!
They are children who do not have bedtime routines. Who don't have anyone to fight with about which pajamas they will wear but instead fight hunger and violence. They are children who do not get a kiss and a hug from their mothers at night, in the morning, and several times throughout the day.
Children have to be our problem. Children have to be our responsibility. Children, and how we treat them, is what we can expect for our future. We must do better. This should not be a question.