By the time this is posted, my sixth grandchild should be born. My daughter is due March 4 and has had two previous C-sections. The doctors are trying to accommodate her wish for a VBAC, but they won’t let her go much beyond her due date since the chances of complications increase dramatically as the baby gets larger.
At the time I’m writing this in late February, the child is still in utero, though we know that he is a boy, the third boy they will have. His two older brothers will be a hard act to follow. His three-and-a-half-year-old oldest brother has already taught himself to read, write, and do simple arithmetic. His other older brother is a physical whirlwind who loves music and climbing on everything possible.
But like his brothers, he starts off life with many advantages. The boys are blessed with highly intelligent, spiritual, and academically-oriented parents who’ve read to them almost from the day they came home, who provide a variety of enriching toys and spend a great deal of time interacting with them and guiding them.
This has made me think about how many children are born into this world without the advantages those children enjoy. For too many around the world, their parents can’t even meet their basic needs for food, shelter, and clean water. Enrichment of any sort is far beyond their grasp. Survival is the only battle they can fight.
And even where basic survival isn’t necessarily a battle, many families are still too marginal either economically or culturally to be able to do any more than meet basic needs. Their own lack of education and cultural development hinders many more from even knowing what they could be doing to improve their children’s chances of success in life.
It’s a huge, massive problem and one I can’t solve, though I try to do what I can to support literacy programs and basic outreaches to the poor and hungry. Plus I do what I can to support my own children in their efforts to raise theirs. That’s why when you’re reading this I’ll be in Indiana where I hope to be cuddling a brand-new grandson, plus reading to and playing with his older brothers.