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A Needle in a Haystack: Mariah's Story
To thy own self be true.
Halloween means so much to so many people. Some have been religiously enraptured that Halloween is demonic. Some see it as a time to celebrate their children and help them gather as many goodies as their little hearts and hands can hold. Some see it as an opportunity to prowl on innocent children. Some see it as the day of the dead and place marigold and the favorite foods and things of their departed loved ones at their gravesides.
For me, Halloween is the one time a year where my child not only dresses in her favorite costume (She plays dresses everyday several hours, that's not new.), she has a daytime costume and a nighttime costume. (Yeah we milk it a little it's become a tradition.) So, needless to say, yesterday I went to her school around lunchtime for a costume change. I will admit her teach asked, "She gone wear another costume?" (There was air of disdain in her voice, I'll admit.) But whatever, it was Maria's day and therefore all about my baby's celebration. So, I change her from Snow White to Sofia the First, she was adorable as ever.
As we are in the classroom there is a little girl without a costume. She glances at Maria with a hint of jealousy, but kids will be kids. So, we go to lunch and everyone is mesmerized by her costume. Maria being Maria true to her form is basking in the glory of the attention as always. I see two of Maria's cousins and one says she didn't have her costume.
So, I asked Maria if it was OK to give her favorite cousin her costume, so she could march as Snow White in the parade, she happily agree. So, as we are eating lunch all the little five year old decide to verse me in what they are going to be for Halloween. Fifty-million costume ideas later, Mariah (The little girl with the eye roll hint of jealousy.) eagerly spouts out in a declaration fashion that she would be Ariel the Disney Princess. I say OK wow, that's awesome.
She seemed pleased and proud of my response. She had a grin from ear to ear. I tell Maria after we go back to her class for lunch that I'm going to drop off her cousin the costume and leave. She gives me a pout and I tell her she has to stay to march in her Halloween parade. She agrees and is still a little sad, but doesn't want to pass up a chance to shine.
So, I feel I did a nice thing for Maria's favorite girl cousin snaps for Britt, but that's when things take a unexpected shift. I go to my Aunt's house so she can see Maria's costume, before she goes trick-or-treating. One the way to the house we notice a white car pulled to the side and I go around. As I do I hear, "HEY MARIA!" I'm like, okay who knows my baby, because I don't see the face to go along with the voice.
We pull up in my Aunt's yard and we wait for her to come to the door. There comes Maria's classmate Mariah. She is trick-or-treating. She greets Maria and waits with us. She thinks we have started trick-or-treating. When my aunt comes to the door she hasn't bought candy, but true to form to our elderly family she has candy on deck and gives everyone a fist full of mints.
I look at back and they scatter off to the next house. I see their grandma standing outside the car. And I flashback to times I have visited Maria's class and the little girl was in tears for being threatened by the teacher saying, "I'm going to call your grandma, do you want me to call her and tell her how bad you been? Blah blah blah." Then, I remembered so bad I felt for her and I noticed she wasn't wearing a costume and neither was her little sister.
My heart sank as I remembered her proud little boastful declaration of her Ariel costume, because now it all made since. The little jealous body language and sudden declaration it came from a place of pain and self-soothing. So, I ask myself why am I seeing this? Out of all the people in the world why me? I can not be a silent witness. Then, I said did I do something wrong? Should I have probed and gave her the costume instead?
I have an overwhelming since of, how do I right this wrong? What can I do? She is only five and I'm sure her grandma is doing the best she can. Why did I bear witness, when the injustice of little children really affects me? Do I give her one of Maria's old costume's? No, that's like a band-aid on a gash? Do I get her an Ariel costume, no that might embarrass her and she will know for sure I knew it was a tall tale? What is a girl to do?
Do I probe about her life and if I do can I handle what she says is her reality? As you can see a children especially or a person in need is my weakness, so how do I resolve this inner need to be proactive? Honestly, I feel moved to give to help, but I don't know how, when or where I am needed. This internal conflict is heavy. I pray that I will come up with a solution by 9am this morning. So, I'll say, "Lord help!" It is my wish to be lead to act in the most effective way if I am to act at all. Shalom. "Be true to you!"