We went to an incredible park and fountain today. We wound up there after playing hard at the playground, so we weren't exactly dressed for water play. Within 5 minutes of being there, the kids were drenched--so the boys took their shirts off. Lily followed suit and peeled hers off as well. It happened so fast I didn't have time to tell her "no." And so I let it go. This is probably the last time in her life she'll be able to be out in public with no top on. She was beautiful, and I quietly grieved for her that the world is full of yucky people who have sexualized young children. Because of that, I won't let her wander around at public parks without proper attire on. I didn't make a big deal out of it today because I was so mesmerized by her free-spirited play and I didn't want to have a depressing talk with her about keeping her shirt on. Why shouldn't she--just this once--enjoy the water, splash, laugh, and feel happy.
The other thing that happened while we were playing was a police officer came with a social worker and took custody of 2 small children. They were there with their mother--who made a valiant effort to hold her emotions together--and she kissed her kids goodbye and handed them to the police officer. We all were trying hard not to stare, not to notice. It would be so easy to judge this young woman--to immediately assume she deals crack or leaves her kids home alone. But I had to remind myself that if not for the grace of God, that could be me. Isn't it all about the opportunities we have and the choices we make? The opportunities in my life have allowed me a life of comfort. The options I have every day help make me a better mom. If I had fewer resources, I am not convinced I would be as patient. I am so thankful.