The morning after I posted "Dirt" Vicki was reading over the entry while Sophi and Raena were eating their breakfast. When Vicki started watching the news report on youtube Raena came over to watch the "movie." She saw the women mixing the dirt into mud and making patties. She asked Vic what they were doing. Vic explained that these people didn't have enough food to eat so they were making cookies out of dirt and feeding them to their children. Rae couldn't make sense of this at first but the reality quickly set in. I could barely hold it together when she started to express with concern, "Mommy, no! People don't eat dirt! That's for animals! Mommy no! That's yucky." She said some version of this four or five times.
I have a hard time telling this story without getting choked up. I'm choked up right now typing it out. You can read what she said but you can not hear the tone in her little voice... A tone that communicates an awareness that something is deeply wrong with this scenario. A four-year-old gets that this shouldn't be. It shocks her. She knows its wrong.
This offered up an opportunity to give Raena a glimpse into our work with G.O. Vicki told Raena that morning, "Raena, Mommy and Daddy go to work at the office because part of what we do is work so that children don't have to eat dirt." I'm still not sure what Rae makes of this but time will tell.
Sophi continued to eat her breakfast and appeared (as she often does in some educational environments) oblivious and disinterested. But she's a sneaky perceiver. She get's more than you'll ever know until she shows you. That night Vic got the girls down for bed and Sophi spontaneously prayed for the children who had to eat dirt cookies, that God would help them get food so they didn't have to do that anymore. Beautiful, from my other 4-year-old.
So these were the bookends to my day that day, a child's discovery of human desparation and a child's intuition to pray that it would cease. And tonight, before Thanksgiving, Sophi did it again, unprovoked, unencouraged, "God, please help the children that eat dirt; they don't have food. Give them food. Dirt is yucky."
So I'm choked up again. I'm grateful for both of my daughters' hearts, grateful for the work that Vicki and I share in, grateful for those that make our work possible, grateful that ultimately there is profound hope for the broken, marginalized and us. I'm thankful that we're blessed to be a blessing and that my daughters are arriving at the starting point of beginning to understand this. It took me over 20 years.