One of my close friends got pregnant as a senior in high school last year – and, as the sex-ed teacher always predicts – her boyfriend left her to take care of little Christy by herself. My friend, of course, was devastated. Trying to lift her spirits, when she was three months pregnant, I took her shopping for baby bibs and booties at Wal-Mart. I don’t remember what we bought because I can only remember the stares – the ones from those mothers, the one’s with the pre-teen daughters, using my friend as a live example of what not to be. My friend considered aborting her baby. But, fortunately, little Christy lives, and boy, does she make her presence known with her high pitched head throbbing screeches in the middle of the night.
I know this because I now baby-sit Christy during weekdays while my friend is a few hours away at college, earning her Bachelors degree. It wasn’t easy, but I , myself, have now earned my own degree in spit-up control with a minor in dashing for diapers. I had never really had a pet before, but having Christy around became quite intriguing. I used to dislike small children. Rather than only paying attention to the annoying habits Christy had, I learned to love the cute things she did. Her adorable babbles became my favorite soundtrack and I can’t live without her beautiful Gerber carrot finger paints. After encounters with Christy, I discovered that being around small children really isn’t so bad after all.
So I got my own. I remember how it happened. I searched in Google under keyword “children” and I couldn’t believe what came up. Next to the delightful word “child” were vulgar phrases like slave labor, malnutrition, water shortage. I read that four children die every minute from unclean water and thought about the numerous, half empty Ozarka bottles I had lying around in my room. I read that millions of children have been displaced from genocide and are dying from easily treatable diseases. After clicking on dozens of links, I decided that I wanted to do something – I needed to help a child, and fast.
I have a little girl. Her name is Emaculate, she is seven years old, and she lives in Uganda. Each month, fifty dollars of my paycheck goes toward sending her to a school at a nearby village where she is learning to read and write. I believe that as a women on this earth, I have been blessed with the chance to be a mother of the world’s children, our only source of miniature hope in a world of hunger, disease, and dirty looks from shopping mothers.
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