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Any of you who have missed me over the past week – I’m still here, and alive, and boy-howdy, am I KICKING!!  I will fill you in on my doings and whereabouts tomorrow or Saturday, depending on how things go – but in the meantime I wish to share with you a wonderful piece written by one of my very favorite newspaper columnists, Ina Hughs, (The Knoxville News-Sentinel), from Knoxville, Tennessee.  She is a wonderful, articulate, pithy, and witty woman of a certain age with whom I identify frequently.  Since moving away from Knoxville I haven’t been reading her as much, but it’s good to know she is still alive, kicking, and praying.  Let’s join her, shall we?

A PRAYER FOR CHILDREN

We pray for children

who sneak popsicles before supper,

who erase holes in math workbooks,

who can never find their shoes.

And we pray for those

who stare at photographers from behind barbed wire,

who can’t bound down the street in a new pair of sneakers,

who never “counted potatoes,”

who are born in places we wouldn’t be caught dead,

who never go to the circus,

who live in an x-rated world.

We pray for children

who bring us sticky kisses and fistfuls of dandelions,

who hug us in a hurry and forget their lunch money.

And we pray for those

who never get dessert,

who have no safe blanket to drag behind them,

who watch their parents watch them die,

who can’t find any bread to steal,

who don’t have any rooms to clean up,

whose pictures aren’t on anybody’s dresser,

whose monsters are real.

We pray for children

who spend all their allowance before Tuesday,

who throw tantrums in the grocery store and pick at their food,

who like ghost stories,

who shove dirty clothes under the bed, and never rinse out the tub,

who get visits from the tooth fairy,

who don’t like to be kissed in front of the carpool,

who squirm in church or temple and scream in the phone,

whose tears we sometimes laugh at and

whose smiles can make us cry.

And we pray for those

whose nightmares come in the daytime,

who will eat anything,

who have never seen a dentist,

who aren’t spoiled by anybody,

who go to bed hungry and cry themselves to sleep,

who live and move, but have no being.

We pray for children who want to be carried

and for those who must,

for those we never give up on and for those

who don’t get a second chance.

For those we smother …

and for those who will grab the hand of anybody kind enough to offer it.

by Ina G. Hughs

I do hope and pray, Gentle Readers, that to children everywhere we give enough. . .

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