A young mother and new neighbor told my daughter she was not a good friend because she’d chosen not to play with her daughter, who is a toddler. Her words rang through my window, and though not dressed for physical confrontation, my mind and heart were prepared to advance. Standing outside, I surveyed the children in groups as they’d naturally formed cliques based on the toys of their interest at that moment.

Knowing the mother is under stress and pressure with the newness of their arrival from another state, recent divorce and transition to single-parenting I asked her what was wrong, and in response several children from amongst the cliques began speaking to me at the same time, drowning out what she attempted to say. All were upset at her daughter.

When I was eight, I learned from my uncle that children are to be seen and not heard
Then I watched him beat his wife in a fit of uncontrollable anger
So it was, I was seen and not heard
Nevertheless, visions always speak, and it was not in dreams but in reality that I cried

I don’t agree with meddling in a child’s playtime affairs. Neither do I make it a practice to get involved in their disagreements unless they come to me or someone is willfully unkind or hurtful. More often than not, I provide options then put the ball back in their court to let them decide the best approach to their perceived conflict.

However, I always get involved when I hear an adult demean a child, especially mine. The mother and I spoke peacefully, but her childlike conclusions prevented her from hearing me. I walked away, not agreeing with her position while making mine clear.

Sometimes it’s a struggle to purposefully model peace and forgiveness, especially when the blood boils and we want others to swallow our syrup before it cools, but the children remind us that they are always watching.

Every child needs to be heard, and if their words or tears are falling silent on those entrusted to care for them, we must then use ours.
All they want is Mom and Dad, and when they can’t hold them, our Love will.