As the saying goes, “Many hands make light work.” Know what’s even sweeter? When those hands are little—little tiny hands that finger paint, swing on the playground, and play monster trucks. Just like the little hands of the tykes at Prestwich nursery who raised funds to support a young tot with Hunter syndrome.
Hunter syndrome, also called mucopolysaccharidosis II (MPS II), is a disease in which the body is unable to produce enough–or is missing entirely–a certain enzyme. That leads to problems with various organs and, usually, a shortened lifespan. Although present at birth, symptoms don’t usually appear until a child is between 2-5 years old. It’s a difficult diagnosis for a parent to bear.
That’s why this type of news makes the heart sing—it builds hope for the future, it warms the humanity soul, and it makes me want to high five the parents and caregivers of all these kids.
As a parent, I often wonder how well I’m teaching my own child this same lesson: how to be compassionate and giving.
As I red the article, a quick thought ricocheted in my head, “So many parents don’t teach that lesson!”
Still, I couldn’t help myself or my runaway thoughts on children, charity, and giving.
How do we teach our children to give? To give in the spirit of grace, to reflect the love which has been poured out so generously upon us?
Food drives, bell ringers, and charity functions help us remember the needs of others at holiday time.
However, what message are we sending to our kids? Are we saying that hunger, pain, and misery only exist at during holidays? Giving is not about toys, things, or possessions. Giving, or at least, the kind of giving I want to teach my kid to do, is about grace.
Now, that’s a tough one.
Grace is the ultimate gift. It is something given freely, not earned. It has no ulterior motive. It is selfless. It cannot be bought or bargained for by the recipient.
Something that should be so easy—right? Sure!?
I can go round and round, but my thoughts continually return to the tykes at Prestwich nursery.
I know that Hunter syndrome appears in children as young as 18 months, and there’s no cure. Treatment involves management of symptoms and complications. So, any efforts these young tots can do to support both their friend and the cause, I say, “Rock on, kiddos. Rock on!”