I remember hearing something in the news once, something from a woman being interviewed by a news commentator about the deaths of some children in some country that I can’t remember. She said something along the lines of it’s easier to lose a child because they have yet to live, yet to create memories. It’s less painful to lose a child because they have small lives that aren’t substantial enough to be missed.
This evening in putting my girls to sleep, I thought about this quote, that woman. I watched them play with each other, my girls. I watch my youngest, a six month old roll towards her sister to touch some part of her pink skirt. I watched my oldest daughter, a 26 month old, meet her hand and smile. They love each other. They haven’t been on the earth for more than three years, but they have loved. They love each other and me and others in their lives. They have feelings. They have deep feelings that are purer than most adults.
They have lives that are valuable to me and are of value to this world that they live in. So often news stories about children who have died whether in war or some other tragic means, the person-hood of children is somehow missed, a bit.
But I think Dr. Seuss said it best, a life is a life no matter how small. I have only known my daughters for a short amount of time, but I know them. I know what makes them happy, what makes them sad. I know them as persons, as human beings. And knowing this kind of dictates how I parent, how I mother. I respect them, first. I try to be fair.
Do you think we as a society sometimes forget the personhood of children in our quest to define them as children?