We took our kids to the park on Saturday for the annual church picnic. My children played happily on the playground equipment while I sat in the shade of the shelter house. I ate, made small talk, and even found a couple of occasions to laugh, but every few minutes, I looked up at the park and did a head count…1,2..where is 3? There she is, and then I went back to whatever I was doing. I did this maybe 25 times in the 4 hour bloc of time.
I don’t know how many milliseconds elapsed between the time I counted the second and third heads, but I can tell you every single one felt like an eternity. There have been times when I have not been able to spot one of my offspring immediately. Sometimes, when the boy knows I’m looking for him, he’ll hide just out of view. The baby has a tendency to just wander. (I will gladly take a hand-me-down toddler leash if you’ve got one.) Anyway, in those few minutes, my mind wanders to the darkest of places. My heart beats loudly, even the voice in my head gets shaky, and I’ve thrown all rational thought out of the window. All that occurs in a matter of seconds.
So as I hear of children being separated from their parents at the southern border of the United States, I am sickened. I know what it’s like not to know where your kid is, if only for a minute or two. I cannot, nor do I want to imagine what would happen if that experience lasted for hours, days, weeks or months.
Last night, I saw Rachel Maddow break down on national television. I struggled to keep my own tears at bay. My eleven-year old, the sensitive one, and the one who actually got away from me once for more than 5 minutes, came to watch with me. Afterward, I had to explain the entire situation to her. She was moved to political action. My daughter just completed the sixth grade. It doesn’t take a whole lot to see that what is happening in this, the land of the free, is wrong.
Last night, I got to pray with, and kiss each of my kids. We prayed for those who aren’t lucky enough to have that luxury. I urge you to do the same…and then call your congressional representatives. Let them know that they either fix this now, or plan to be separated from their seats in the House and Senate in the next elections. Let’s see if that makes them anxious.