Thursday, February 09, 2006

Bless the children

I have a date for Valentines Day. My DH and I are going to a prime rib dinner, humorous talk about marriage and dancing (as if!)
This was all brought about by my job.
I’ll be covering the event as a reporter. So we get in free. It’s one of the perks of being a reporter. I suppose it makes up for all those nights sitting in industrial government buildings talking about sewer systems.
Earlier this week, after my boss offered me the chance to cover this story, he called and asked me to cover another story about “Grandfamilies, a kinship parenting program.” In a nutshell, a program for grandparents, aunts and uncles raising children abandoned by their drug addicted parents.
He said the woman assigned to cover the story would “switch” with me so she could cover the sweethearts event. HaHaHa! No.
If I am going to be obliged to listen to depressing stories of babies wandering the streets in diapers because mommy is in a drug-induced crash state, I jolly well want to get the joyful coverage of happy marriages, too.
And let’s not fool ourselves; the Grandfamilies meeting about methamphetamines was plenty heartbreaking.
I don’t know what was worse, seeing the dirty children in the arms of policemen wearing haz-mat protection, or the image of a child on a couch with his mother next to him, face down, handcuffs behind her back, or the story of the baby who drank pure meth oil thinking it was apple juice. He’s alive, but still eating through a tube.
The good news is, these are the lucky children. The are the ones being rescued from a life of chaos and squalor. They have kinship families stepping in to pick up the slack.
If I ever think my house is a pigpen again, all I have to do is remember the images of cockroach infested kitchens, sinks full of beer cans, refrigerators with open cans of spaghetti O’s, a lively mold population, and who knows what else.
Yes, my bathrooms could use a good scrubbing, but they are not open cesspools. True, I should make the bed more often, but I don’t allow my babies to flop where they will, on bare mattresses stained with blood and urine, on blankets flecked with meth shards, in rooms where handguns are cocked and loaded on coffee tables.
I know some of my blog friends have a much closer view of this situation than I do. A much closer view than I ever wish to see. When I tuck my children in at night, I need to remember what a blessing it is to know they are safe, to know, with all my faults that I am a good mother.
Tuesday, when I go to the prime rib dinner, comical speaker and dancing (as if!) I will hold my husband extra close and think him for being the husband and father he is to my children.
I am truly blessed.


Amy Sorensen said...

I'm happy for you that you still get the dinner date. YOu'll definitely deserve it after such heart-wrenching reporting. Like you, hearing stories like those helps me to re-evaluate my Mommy Guilt and to realize that most of it is silly and self-indulgent. Good luck with your article!

Sophia said...

Alleen, you knew that I'd read this and you knew that I'd appreciate every single word of it. As I type, my tears are freely falling onto my desktop. You get it. These children are SO blessed to get out of this living nightmare, in every case. My heart goes out to the children and in a whole other light, my heart goes out to these beautiful young mothers who've allowed their lives to be destroyed by just a few poor choices in the beginning. I'm so glad that you get to cover the good as well as the positive. But, it's the awareness of this horrific drug that will hopefully prevent even one more young girl from following this deadly path before she gets sucked in. I'd love to read your articles! Love,


Dar said...

Have fun covering your dinner date. The grandfamilies thing is beyond sad. I know that there are so many children out there in need and that breaks my heart. I am so grateful that I can provide a safe environment for my kids to thrive in.

Wyo sis said...

And so the gap widens. How will our children be able to provide remediation, support and lifetime care for these damaged people. I teach little ones on weekdays and teen ones on Sunday and I see how truly good and smart the good ones are. Beyond anything I experienced as a young person. We had better prepare our blessed children extra well because they will carry a heavy burden.
But to a lighter subject, I hope you have a great romantic Valentines Day.

Adrienne " A little dramatic at times" said...

Im speechless. What wonderful words. Glad you get a night out!

Becca said...

Wow--I hear about these people that have a house full of children, are constantly high & usually pregnant again. And I wonder why it is that God has given me the overwhelming desire to be a mommy...and we still struggle to have a family.

Great entry--makes us all think about our lives and the blessings that abound.


Peg Graham said...

Al- YOu make me smile and hug my family a little bit closer. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. YOu know I love you!!!!!!


Lorrie said...

beatiful and heartwreching blog. We are so truly blessed to be some of the GOOD mothers. Enjoy your Valentines dinner and hope you "get to dance"!! =)

RN4JCHRIST said...

WHOA!! thanks for the reality check reminder!! =)~Dawn

Wanda E. Santiago said...

I have seen all this it;s the stuff o noone talks about. Love how you tell a story!! Hugs Wanda