Yesterday my heart broke for the umpteenth time, but this heart break was by far one of the worst ever. The question posed to the children was, "what kind of role model do you think your father is?" The response of one child was, "I don't!" There was no hesitation; no pause; no room for doubt. Those two words tore into the core of me sharper than a Chinese chef with a Ginsu knife. How do you look into the face of a child and try to find words to make them feel better when they know that the man they're supposed to look up to; the man who is supposed to be their guide; the man who is supposed to be the cement they walk on for firm foundation isn't any of those things?
As a mother, godmother, aunt, and role model, I strive to do the best I can to set a good image for the children I'm around. I know I'm far from perfect and I know I don't and won't have all the answers, but hell, I can at least say, "I try". If nothing else, I try to be the best I can be for any child I have a relationship with. I want that child to know that I'm trustworthy, I'll keep my word/promise, and I'll do what I can to lead by example. Adults have a way of both inspiring and hurting children and I insist on being the former because I know first hand what it's like to not have good role models or positive influences. Hell, even if I had the greatness of good adults in my life, I would still want to be a good influence on a child. It's to the benefit of the adult and the child to form a bond that says, I can and will make a difference.
I digress to my opening paragraph. Does said parent not know or even give a damn that he's setting his kid up for failure by not providing her basic needs? Does said parent not think his role in his childs life is important for how she'll view and accept men in her life? Is said parent so caught up in his own selfish existence that nothing really matters other than keeping a roof over her head, buying some clothes, and whatever else?
Again, it hurts my heart as a parent to know children have to suffer like this. It hurts when the child knows that their parent is lacking what it takes for them to even look at their parent with the love, trust, and respect that shoud be inate to them. Damn! One would think that in this day and age where we see so many children suffering, that those of use who are parents or have some role in a childs life would be more compassionate and selfless. But I guess that's simply wishful thinking of my part.
I know I can't save all the kids, but I'll continue to be the best positive influence I can be and hope that others will step up and do their part too. We can't condemn kids if we're not arming them with the tools, support, love, and resources they'll need to grow.