At this time of year, images of madonna and child are everywhere. (No, not THAT Madonna.) For me, the power of this image is not in its religious context, but rather in the context of the many years I spent working in foster care. Those of us working in foster care are always hoping for a beautiful, loving connection for each and every child.
Here are some madonna and child images from around the world.
Leviticus, Chapter 19
That’s some wisdom from Saint Francis of Assisi.
If holiday giving is your thing, and you support organizations that benefit kids’ learning, development, expression, and self-worth, you’ve come to the right blog.
We must not stint on our investment in our children. They are our hope and our future, and give us so much joy in the present! Last year I wrote a couple of posts about some organizations that support children and teens in profound ways. They are still my top picks, so I’ll refer you to those posts.
Most people who are acquainted with me personally know that I am a summer volunteer and member of the amazing, transformative Camp AmeriKids community. Camp’s mission is “to enhance the lives of youth living with the challenges of HIV/AIDS and sickle cell disease by providing an enriching summer camp experience, year-round skill building and a supported transition to adulthood.” Here’s what I wrote about camp last year. This year a new year-round mentoring program has been added. I cannot say enough about the wonderful ways this organization changes the lives of everyone it touches! Find out more at www.campamerikids.org.
Other orgs I listed last year: donorschoose.org, Project Rhythm, 826 Valencia, and Girls Write Now. Please check them out here. They all continue to do fantastic work promoting children’s literacy and artistic expression (which are so intertwined) and changing lives.
May you give, and may you receive. Happy holidays!
“The original miracle of Hanukkah was that a committed band of people led a successful uprising against a much larger force, paving the way for Jewish independence and perhaps keeping Judaism itself from disappearing. It’s an amazing story, resonant with America’s own founding, that offers powerful lessons about standing up for one’s convictions and challenging those in power.” From The True Meaning of Hanukkah, Hilary Leila Krieger, 2012
It’s a joy to be hidden but a disaster not to be found. -D.W. Winnicott
A fifteen year-old girl comes into my office and refuses to speak, to draw, to do anything. We have known each other for years, have seen each other every week in art therapy sessions, and have lots of history together. Ours is a strong relationship, but these days she’s pretty unhappy, and having to come to therapy makes her feel even worse. She barely even bothers to roll her eyes at me when I talk to her, just puts her head down on the table. It’s going to be a long 50 minutes. So I start drawing her. There’s really not much else I can do. For a long time, she doesn’t stir. But she has been listening to the scratching sounds of the colored pencils I’m using, and she is curious about what I’m drawing. Eventually it’s too much for her, and she lifts her head.
She is visibly pleased by the drawing, or maybe just by the fact that I drew her, and we chat a little bit, nothing heavy, before she leaves. She thinks I ruined the drawing with those spikes coming out of her arms, and I can’t disagree. She laughs when I tell her I was just trying to draw her porcupine quills. Things feel comfortable, things feel safe. We are both relieved.
The following week she’s not talking again.
It’s a joy to be hidden but a disaster not to be found. Sometimes the best gift we can give is to be present, and wait until someone wants to be found. And find a way to remind them that they probably really DO want to be found.
From The School of Life: