By Reverend Carol Rosine
My family started planning early for this summer’s Sandcastle-Building Contest at Ferry Beach. They agreed on a design before leaving for the beach so that they could bring enough pails and the appropriate tools, and so, when the afternoon arrived with sunny skies & a warm breeze, they were ready! Within the allotted amount of time they had created a humongous crocogator, a terrifying creature that they were convinced would win the contest.
It was that night following dinner that the winner of the contest was to be announced. The littlest ones could hardly eat fast enough, tension building as time inched forward. They kept bouncing up and down in anticipation of winning, and when the announcement was made, it was true– they had won! First prize for the most ferocious creature in the Sandcastle Building contest! They ran up to claim their prizes, tickets for an ice cream cone at the Ferry Beach store. Such excitement you’ve never seen.
But then… a prize for The Most Creative was given, and a prize for The Tallest, and a prize for The One Using the Most Seaweed, and as each was announced, I saw my littlest one’s face begin to fall. Finally she turned to me and said, “But they announced ours first, Grandma. We must be #1, aren’t we?” The organizers of the sandcastle building intended for this to be fun, not a competition with winners and losers, and yet disappointment was spread across the littlest one’s face.
My granddaughters are having such a gentle easing into life. They are living a privileged life in which this is possible and for this I am enormously grateful, for all three of them are # 1 in my book, and I pray, fervently, that life will continue to be gentle for them.
And yet I read of children in our own Commonwealth for whom this is not so. Children neglected, abused, innocent victims of the addicted and/or demented. I examine the faces of children taking part in the massive migration from war-torn countries to places where their parents hope to keep them safe. But instead their families encounter hastily erected walls… or worse.
May we not forget these children. May the open-hearted love we have for our own little ones, remain open for the children of “The Others” as well.
May it be so… always. Carol