“There is a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.”
Madeleine Albright, Former U.S. Secretary of State
I heard this quote last week and I have been thinking about it a little. And I decided I like it. Although, it's not a hard one to like. I think I naturally try to be a relatively helpful person any time I have the opportunity. So if that's the only requirement........
But that is not all it takes. You kind of have to love people and stuff. Like children. Other people's children, that one isn't so easy for me. Don't get me wrong, MY kids and my nieces and nephews are easy to love. In addition to my friends' kids. And the sweet ones. Those ones are all on my team. It's not a secret I try to hide, although it's not something I would say I am proud of. I need to work on it.
When I moved here I was 'scouted' lovingly and rather candidly by someone who was looking for assistance with the children at church (The Primary). They always need extra hands on Sundays, it takes is a lot of people to make the program happen smoothly. After I shuddered, I ultimately shared with her my feelings about dealing with other people's brats. Nice introduction, ay? Don't you want to be my best friend?
This year my oldest son reached the age to enter Primary. Those first weeks he struggled with the transition and I did my best to help him transition and encouraged him to stay in his seat, or at least in the same room.
As I sat down next to him I glanced around at all the boys and girls in their seats; wearing their finest Sunday apparel. My heart softened as I realized every single one of them was an example to my son. Even the undercover "brats" I might have imagined in my earlier conversation. I was so proud to bring him into this fold of children who gather to learn about our Savior every week.
I loved the loud one who participated in the game about a scripture I had not known myself. I loved the sweet girl with the bow who sat so reverently and smiled at Zane. The boy who raised his hand eagerly to answer a question. I loved every single child in that room and felt something very different come over me. It kind of felt like this painting by Greg Olsen.
I realized I understood The Difficult Child better than other type of child in the room, the kind of child I feared and wanted to avoid the most is the one who needs love the most. Some days that is my son. And what if every mother/ woman snubbed Primary the way I once did, who would be there on Sunday to love and teach him lessons, songs, and stories?
Each week it's where I find myself wishing to be, helping any kind of child learn about Christ. And letting me learn to love the way He does. If I am ever asked to help, I now answer with a delightfully quick yes.
So perhaps I should change the quote to remind myself:
“There is a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women's children.”