While I was out sick, the kids at the shelter created incredibly wonderful "Get Well" cards which I received last week.
These cards so moved me, I decided to share some of them. Though their creations often declare their feelings about me, they invariably reveal more than that.
I'll start with "Tony's" rich, beautifully drawn picture of himself as my hero. His sky overhead is heavy with black clouds. Rain pours copiously from all of them and a flash of yellow lightning bolts from one as well.
At the bottom, a well-dressed, unsmiling boy holds an empty, spindly umbrella high above his head. It has only spines, no cloth, so cannot keep the rain off him. His other hand is a large, clenched fist. The note under his picture says he's going to make sure "it" (my illness) "doesn't get any worse."
In this card lies the crux of the dilemna of any child growing up in violent home. In that world, he hates what happens to his mother, but feels helpless to protect her against the batterer. He isn't protected, either so he's angry, sad, and frusttrated. He desperately wants to help his mother, but his umbrella is no good.
Yet he keeps trying. Blames himself when he fails to rescue her. Wants to be stronger than the batterer.
How can I not hope will all my heart that he will treat his partner well when he is a man?
How can I not love him for wanting to?
To be continued...