A Prayer for Children

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 in,
Who never saw a 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 security 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 their 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 into 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 be
For those we never give up on,
And for those who never get a second chance
For those we smother
And for those who will grab the hand of anybody kind enough to offer it.

This is from a Dear Abby column long ago. I know not the date nor the author, but I saw it posted on a friend's refrigerator, and decided that I needed to copy it down.

Another quote that I found in this person's house was this

"Children may be the greatest test of our patience, but they are also the most deserving of it"

The Kids' Bill of Rights