Rescue Mom

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“Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can.  At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can.”
― John Wesley

I saw a bumper sticker on a car today that said “Rescue Mom” and I got all excited.

I didn’t realize regular people did this! How wonderful that this woman stops her car when she spots stray children and tries to help them.

Maybe she’s part of a more formal network that takes in abused or abandoned children and cares for them until they can find them a loving, forever family? No doubt, everyone who is part of this network is a volunteer, doing this work for free because it is important and needed and they understand children have rights too and deserve protection and the very best life possible.

They lavishes these cast offs with the affection and attention for which they are starved. First thing, they help them clean up so they feel better. They take them to a salon to be pampered and nicely groomed, or perform these same types of tasks at home if they happen to be experienced barbers and stylists. They give them mani-pedis. Maybe even put a pretty ribbon in the hair of the girls. Buy them adorable outfits and warm coats. Take them to be checked out by a doctor to make sure all their vaccinations are up to date and they are getting any medicine or treatment they might need to address conditions they might have.

They feed the children well, even whipping up delicacies to delight them. Teach them how to be part of a family and live in a nice home with nice things. Teach them not to rip stuff up and destroy property and relationships. They do this by treating the children with respect, setting clear limits, and being fair and consistent. They are unshakably kind and calm, no matter what the child might do out of frustration or fear or simply because they just don’t know any better. They are patient and understanding, even if the children wakes them up repeatedly at night or has an occasional accident around the house. They snuggle with the children on the regular and praise them for their intelligence, sweetness, and beauty. They reward them for good behavior with treats and back rubs and hugs.

They give them plenty of their own toys to entertain them so they won’t be tempted to take stuff that belongs to someone else. They know boredom can lead to mischief, so they sign the kids up for classes where they have fun and are rewarded for making good choices and following directions. They take them outside all the time, for long walks and to the the park and for runs along the packed sand by the water’s edge. They play with them in the yard for hours on end. They spend time outside together every single day, whether it is sunny, rainy, or snowy.

No child is considered too sick or undesirable or unattractive or disabled, or even too old, to be taken in. They will gladly open their doors to a 17-year-old, even an 18-year-old, if the young person does not have a safe and loving home. Sometimes children are labeled a behavior problem and rejected by their family. These Rescue Moms understand that often that is more a symptom of parents poorly handling the training of a spunky child, and with proper interventions, that child can be a shining star. Or maybe the child does indeed have some serious behavior issues that cannot be resolved by even the most loving caregiver. Do these Rescue Moms give up on them entirely and send them to the shelter? No, they just find the right forever family that can love the quirky, challenging child for the amazing person he or she is.

Some of these Rescue Moms even temporarily take in fully grown adults who are in distress. Maybe their immediate or extended family just can’t help the person who is homeless right now or take care of them because their own resources are so limited. Maybe they are loved by their family very much, but their family just can’t afford to buy enough food, or pay for medical care, for everyone in the household anymore.

These Rescue Moms (and I bet there are plenty of Rescue Dads, too) are passionate and vocal, organized and energized by the belief that each child is innocent and important and that we as a society should do better by every single one of these dependent, helpless, loving beings. These selfless heroes produce commercials and public service announcements and campaigns letting people know about the plight of our neglected, starving, or abused domestic children. They will not hesitate to call the police if they even suspect a child might be being harmed in some way by their parents or caregivers. They will bravely step forward in any public setting to confront a person they believe is being unkind to or hurting a child.

These Rescue Moms proudly display bumper stickers on their cars to encourage others to get involved. Bumper stickers, like the one I saw today. These people, these stickers, serve to remind us that uncared for children are our responsibility and we all should be concerned that they get the help they deserve. They encourage us to look deeply within ourselves and ask the tough questions:

  • What kind of civilized society turns its back on its own children who are suffering and in need?
  • What kind of people?
  • Do we, as a society, value our precious children enough to act on their behalf and ensure each one of them is given the opportunity to have a wonderful present and future?
  • Do you?

Please note: No children, or animals, were harmed in the making of this satire.

(P.S. Before you write me off as being a hater, let me say that I applaud anyone and everyone for doing good things for their community and the environment. Go you! You rock and I appreciate all the amazing things you are doing because you let your loving heart guide you. And, yes, I do love animals, very much. But I can’t help being dismayed by how it seems to be more socially acceptable to publicize about, and advocate for, caring for neglected animals in the U.S. rather than neglected children. You don’t see many PSAs or bumper stickers and FB posts about our children – and adults — who are going hungry or are homeless or abused or emotionally discarded. You don’t see bumper stickers encouraging people to reach out to suffering children. And that seems just plain wrong.)

February 2016
Julie Ayers

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