Our youngest grandchild, as a sweet and sassy 5yr old girl, gasped with joy and exclaimed. “Pinecones!”
She was so excited about her treasured find that her whole face was lit up by her smile. Her mother told her to go put them on the porch, as we were heading to the car, to go to the local library. (I love that my grandchildren enjoy the treasures of the library, as well as the great outdoors.) She placed her treasure gently on the table and then ran to the car, anxious for their weekly trip to the library.
The first thought that crossed my mind was, “How silly to be so excited over pinecones.” My second thought came immediately after the first. “How wonderful to be so excited about finding pinecones!”
Can you remember the simple joy of your childhood, with no grown-up stress and pressure, blissfully ignorant of the pains the world can bring, happy to wake up and have a fun filled day?
How does that saying go? Something like … We spend our entire childhood wishing to be grown up, only to spend our adult lives wishing for the simplicity of childhood.
While I cherish the sweet memory of my granddaughter’s reaction to finding simple pinecones, I am also reminded that April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month.
Childhelp.org states, “Every year more than 3 million reports of child abuse are made in the United States involving more than 6 million children (a report can include multiple children).”
Childhood is meant to be a time of innocence, love, and joy – not a time of mistrust, pain, and fear.
Please familiarize yourself with The Child Welfare Information Gateway.
If you suspect a child is being abused, learn the proper next steps to take.
If you know a child is being abused, report it!
If you are abusing a child, STOP! It’s wrong to harm a child. Seek guidance on how to safely parent your child.
Every child should have a childhood of fond memories and fun-filled times. You can help make sure that happens, for every child.