Emotional Band-Aids



    Synopsis:  How do you help a child not feel sad when other kids exclude him or her because of the way he or she looks?  How do you keep the Beast of Terror from running wild in the child, chewing up his or her self worth?   G-Ma Lori uses stories from her rejections and disappointments as a child to emotionally bandage her granddaughter Sarah's wounds  She also turns to the Rescue Heroes and Sarah's brother Matt for help.  Her goal is to teach Sarah that "inside beauty" is far more powerful than "outside beauty."  Join her as she walks Sarah through the caves of Intimidation where the Beast of Terror lurks and they both move into the Sunshine of Vigilance.                                          




    "G-Ma," Sara groaned, "I am a girl and I should wear dresses to school all the time.  Cynthia wears pretty dresses every day, not pants, G-Ma.  Mommy says I have to wear pants some days, but Cynthia and even Amanda say dresses are better."  Sarah's usually bright chocolate eyes dimmed. Her brow furled grouchily downward as she railed on about the morning's activities at her Montessori pre-school.

      "They don't play with me when I wear pants.  They tell me to go play with the boys.  I'm sad about it."

      "Hey, little one, we girls wear pants and dresses.  Sometimes when we girls want to run faster and play harder and be warmer, we wear pants.  On special days, when we girls want to dress up and look especially nice, we can wear dresses or skirts if we want to."

       I bent down and took Sarah's mittened hands in mine and gazed into her troubled four-year-old soul.  It seems the younger a child is, the easier it is to see deep within them.  And, the older children become, the more barricades block the view to the pain and sorrow children face when others hurt their feelings.

       Fortunately, I have an edge when it comes to looking into my granddaughter's soul.    I take her to and from preschool every day.  We enjoy the time together not just as grandmother and granddaughter, but also as sisters and friends, woman and girl, girl and girl. I’m never quite sure which role I play, for often Sarah has more wisdom on issues than I.  But I know I am blessed.  I also get to spend an extra hour and a half with her after her pre-school because we pick up her six-year-old brother, Matt, at 2:50 p.m.  Sarah gets out at 1:30 p.m.  Today, the issue was what others think of her. 


Sadness reigns when playmates hurt Sarah's feelings

   "But, G-Ma, then the playground girls are right. I don't look as pretty in pants.  I want to look pretty all the time. I need to wear a dress every day to be like them.  Then they'll play with me every day. Then Cynthia and Amanda and others won't say I'm not as pretty as they are." 

     Giant tears welled in her German chocolate eyes.  She hugged me tightly.

"Who is my special-est gal in the whole wide world?  Who is the loveliest butterfly in New York City? Who is my most precious person ever-ever?"   I scooped her up and held her like she was my favorite stuffed doll, the very special one that made the world stop spinning, whose warmth made all the doubts and fears of life and bad memories fade into the bright light of fun and joy.  It was time for such a diversion.

"Me, ME.....G-Ma..... UGGGHHH ….your sweater tickles my nose."  Sarah giggled, momentarily forgetting her apparently disastrous day of feeling she was less than her friends unless she dressed to meet their standards.

We sat on one of the worn benches that march through Union Square.  She scooted off my knee and plopped beside me.   We shared a moment of quiet, a pleasant space in time in which we became one in the absence of words.

G-Ma's lovely butterfly

 Oftentimes we squirrel watched.  We commented on the various colors, shades and hues of the squirrels that ranged from shiny rust red to coal gleaming black, and all variations between.    Their colors were as varied as the autumn leaves.  Before coming to live in New York, I thought all squirrels were the same dusty brown.   Like humanity, squirrels were fully integrated.

G-Ma and Sarah have fun feeding squirrels and chatting

             Neither of us spoke.  I collected my thoughts, sifting through what to say to her about the pain of being 'left out' at school, of feeling as though you had a thousand warts on your face and no one wanted to be like you, near you.  I recalled my own childhood pain at being not chosen on this or that team, or dismissed by a group because of an inane group-imposed rule designed to ostracize, to exclude, to humiliate.

  "Children can be so mean,” I thought.  I didn't want my Sarah to feel 'less than' or feel she wasn't “in” because she was wearing a skirt or dress.  I opened my mouth and words toppled out.

 "Once when I was a little older than you pretty butterfly (I didn't remember that much of any part of my young life), I didn't get picked to be a princess in the Kingdom game at 'yard time' (the old recess).  I was left on the sidelines while the other girls whirled and twirled around the playground.  In their singsong Voices they made fun of my coat that was a hand-me-down from my brother.  They said I looked like a boy and couldn't be a princess and play with them."

  "Were you so very sad, G-Ma?" Sarah stood up on the park bench and pressed my face between her small but firm palms, staring deep into my eyes as I earlier had into hers.   I knew it was her way of demanding the truth out of me, as though she had X-Ray vision and could see inside my heart and soul, reminding me that trust between two close friends was the key to eternal friendship.

"Oh, yes. I was so, so sad.  I was lonely.  I felt terrible.  But, then from across the playground, I saw my brother who went to the same school.  He was two years older but in a different class.  He held something in his hands and ran toward me. 

 "What was it G-Ma?  What was it?"  Sarah relaxed her grip on my cheeks and plunked her thirty-eight and a-half pounds onto my lap.  The power of the story had just trumped the importance of the truth.

When G-Ma was Sarah's age, she was given a magic horse to carry her above sadness and exclusion

"Sarah....it was.... a baseball bat!  He said it was not just an old baseball bat.  It was a magic bat.  He told me to get astride it and it would turn into my magic horse.  He said the magic horse would carry me up, up, to the sky, way above all the silly girls below.  He said all the girls wanted a magic horse, but I was the ‘special princess’ who had been chosen to ride the magic bat. I was so happy I forgot about not being picked."
             I didn’t pause for Sarah to ask even one question.  She is so quick she can swerve a story in a thousand directions with questions.  I spoke quickly but clearly so my point wouldn’t be lost.
             “When I told my mother, GaGa--your great grandmother--about what happened, she also told me it was my inside that was important, not what I wore. It’s important that you know, sweet Sarah, it's not what you wear or look like on the outside that is important.  It's how you dress inside, in your thoughts.  Inside you are the most beautiful of all girls, my sweet one.  Yes, you look so very, very pretty in your dresses, especially your play princess ones, but you are truly beautiful inside even if you have old, torn, dirty clothes on. Also, it’s what you think of you, not what others think of you that counts, little one." 

Sarah squirmed excitedly.   "Wow, G-Ma, my mommy says that, too.  Pretty inside is 'portant, not what I wear.  It must be true since you told me that too, and GaGa told you when you were a little girl." 
         Sarah’s face twitched, the muscles turning her sour down-turned lips slowly into a warm smile.  Soon she was giving me her special apple grin and an oh-so-special-Sarah-squeezie hug.

We giggled. I gave her some peanuts to feed the squirrels out of my special 'G-Ma purse.’  My purse offers many treasures for grandchildren besides peanuts:  popsicle sticks to be used for making letters, magnet Scottie dogs, band aids, boxes of apple juice, tablets and crayons for drawing, etc. and, oh, yes, chocolate Balance bars for Sarah  - her favorite after-school snack.

G-ma tenderly places band-aids of love on Sarah's hurts

And then there were the emotional Band-Aids I carried with me.  They were like her Barbie Band-Aids, but instead of having Barbie on them, they were covered with hearts—full rich hearts unbroken by the Beast of Terror who stalks little children and tries to hurt their feelings and make them feel Fear, Intimidation and Complacency.   Invisible to the common eye, any Parent of Vigilance knows about Emotional Band-Aids.   We carry them for moments like this, when our children’s or grandchildren’s self-worth is wounded.   We want to repair it fast, before it grows into a great crack that threatens to ruin the child’s evaluation of himself or herself.
              Sarah's mom had mentioned to me a similar conversation she had with Sarah on the very same issue.  It came up while helping to dress Sarah for school.  She was not happy about the little clique at school.  I didn't know how deep the wounds were until this very moment.

  But I did understand the Fear Sarah had.  I had the same Fear—the Fear of Rejection, the Fear of being alienated.
              Such Fear made me shy from friendships.  It turned me into a recluse of sorts.  I didn’t want to mingle with other girls because I didn’t want to take the risk of being ostracized.  So I read fairy tales and books and imagined a world I created that was safe and secure for me.
              I knew that wasn’t healthy.  I knew great friendships were vital to a well-rounded personality.  I had helped insure my daughters had many “real friends,” and was proud of them all.  I wanted the same for Sarah.

  As a little girl, G-Ma created a magical world in which to hide her sorrows

   Friendships are formed early in life.  They start on the playground - and, in Sarah's case, on the playground at school. The failure to make and sustain friendships is associated with social difficulties in later life.  I suffered that ailment.  I had such a hard time in any social environment because I was always waiting for someone to criticize me, to drive me away from the circle where friends gather.  I learned early to retreat, to hide in books, to be “too busy” to play, and all the time wanting so much to have friends, to have fun, to share the joys of growing up with others.

Playing with others requires negotiation and experience

    I knew from the school of hard knocks that peer interaction involves many skills that take time and practice to learn and experience to polish. Playing with others requires negotiation.  Peer play oftentimes calls upon the need to be assertive about one's rights and possessions, the need to back down in a tiff, the capacity to handle being rebuffed and the most important—to pick yourself up when you are knocked down emotionally, and stand up for yourself.
              I knew to help Sarah I needed to be a Sentinel of Emotional Vigilance as well as a physical one.  I needed to help coach her so she could withstand the emotional blows all young children suffer as social circles are formed, and the strong try to dominate the weak—often to the point of bullying them.  Sometimes adult supervision is necessary. I hoped it wouldn't be in Sarah's case.

 I fell back to my own experience on the playground with my two daughters.  I tried to not interfere in the playground activities except when I considered them in either emotional or physical jeopardy. 
             Teaching a child to fight back against Emotional Terrorism is a delicate task.   It requires one to expose her own Fears, Intimidations and Complacencies so the child can empathize with you, and grow to trust that you are speaking from the heart.   When a child realizes your vulnerability, she or he is open to the solutions.   You build credibility with the child by sharing your own dilemmas, and how you overcame them.  

Exclusion hurts children and adults

 Then, you work on the Principles of Vigilance, teaching the child how to turn Fear into Courage, Intimidation into Conviction and Complacency into Right Action.   Even though it took me nearly half a century to achieve this understanding, I knew it wasn’t too late to pass it on.    Now was the time.  Sarah was standing at the crossroads of Emotional Self Worth.  She could take one road that meant her self-image would depend on what others thought of her, or the other, that was much harder and less traveled, the one where she was in charge of what she thought of herself.   I knew she would need help on the road less traveled, I knew that because we all need help reminding ourselves that we define who we are, not the world. 

Pretty dresses make  big and little girls feel special

   "Sarah,” I said, “dresses do make us girls look pretty.  They are fun to wear. Many times we feel extra special when we are dressed up.   When you play princess, don't you feel so pretty?"  My intent was to offer Sarah a different way of looking at playground play.  I wanted her to know one could dress for the situation, and that beauty was about feeling beautiful whether in pants or a dress.  I also wanted her to know that some people are rigid, and see things only one way.  But, if she wanted to have more fun than anyone, she needed to see things many different ways. My daughter said that Cynthia's mother is in fashion design.  That meant to me Cynthia was being bombarded all the time with fashion emphasis, either directly or indirectly.  Children are clay.  They take the shape of their environment. Fashion is not an important subject for discussion in Sarah's home, so I knew Sarah was vulnerable to what she heard at school.   I decided to put the dilemma in perspective.

"Sweet one, did you know Cynthia's mom designs dresses?  Did you know dresses are so important in their family that’s maybe the number one thing Cynthia’s mom talks to her about?  Think about it.  Cynthia’s mommy draws them.  She makes patterns for them.  She makes sure they’re cut and sewed right.  Then she sells them to stores to sell to women and girls.  I'm sure that's why Cynthia only wears dresses and considers them the only kind of clothes girls should wear.  And, if Cynthia’s mom made only pants, maybe Cynthia would only wear pants to school and tell you that dresses weren’t so pretty, and pants were better."

Children  learn how to play together all over the world

  "G-Ma, I didn't know all that.  But, she still shouldn't be mean to me and tell me I can't play with her.  Mommy says that I can't talk like that to anyone.  But she does - to me.  She makes me feel sad.  And then the other girls, Amanda, and even Serena won't let me play with them either.   Maybe their mommies don't tell them not to be mean."

 "Well, my beautiful-inside-girl, it could be Cynthia's mommy doesn't tell her it is not a dress that makes someone beautiful.  It’s  what is inside a person that really counts. Cynthia might be looking only at your outsides and not the real you—the one inside here."  I tapped Sarah’s chest with the tip of my finger and made her giggle.  I liked to shift from heavy to light.  I wanted Sarah to assimilate what I was saying.   I gently helped her off the bench and we headed off to pick up brother Matt.

  "I get it, G-Ma, she isn't looking at ME, the real ME.  She just sees my pants and shirt.  I get it. But, I still don't get to play with them - unless I wear a dress."  Sarah stopped walking and hung her head.  For a minute I thought my Emotional Band Aid had patched her wound. But then, I reached into my mental First Aid Kit to a couple more.   The wound was deep, a rip in a little girl’s soul.

G-Ma stresses the importance of inside beauty

 " I'll bet if you told Cynthia about how important it is to look at the inside of a person - that is, who you really are, all the good about you - she would let you play.  We'll ask mommy to see if you can invite her to your house to play so she can better enjoy the real you. Then you will feel really good because you negotiated your position - that means you explained yourself and bargained with her."

Sarah pondered my words.  Her mother and father were both great thinkers, both great negotiators.  They worked with all kinds of people from all walks of life, and even though they were both Phi Beta Kappa recipients, they could hold a successful conversation with someone from the streets as well as the President of the United States.

Sarah loves her frau-frau princess dresses

 Sarah knew that too.   Like her brother, she was blessed with a quick mind.   On her turf, she would have power.  She would have the advantage of the home field.   "That's neat, G-Ma.  Cynthia can come to my house and we can dress up in my princess dresses and she will see how many beautiful dresses I have.  She'll just love them."  Sarah beamed and skipped alongside me, scampering like the hurry-scurry squirrels zooming hither and thither across the sidewalks.  I saw her little heart fully beating even though it was all patched with Band Aids.  I smiled.  We were nearing Matt's school.

 "There's Matt, G-Ma.  There he is.  He's the first one out the door."  Sarah bounced toward her older brother to give him a big hug.

Matt attends a Catholic school and had on his special smile, happy to see his sister and happier that school was over.  Many boys and girls from his class said "goodbye" and chitchatted with him.  It was always amazing to note his popularity after school, because Matt appears to be almost a recluse, a kind of emotional hermit while Sarah is ebullient, effervescent..  My husband and I have never seen Matt initiate a conversation with his schoolmates after school. They approach him.  He is very self-assured in his relationships with his classmates in direct contrast with, Sarah.

Matt, we think, wins friends and influences people by not trying to.  It’s kind of an oxymoron—win friends by not trying to win them.   Matt is a thinker.   He has a sharp mind that gets the idea at the first try.   And, he doesn’t lord his knowledge.  Like his mother and father, he is eager to help others but not to win their affection.  My husband and I think he likes showing off his knowledge.  He’s forever saying, “I know everything,” and, in his own way, he does.   We hardly ever correct him for fear we might impair his self- confidence and self assuredness.  Also, he is usually right and is not egotistical in his knowledge; he’s just matter-of-fact.   We think the other kids recognize Matt is smart and sincere, and that it is his unique ability to show interest in helping others that draws them to him.  
            In elementary school, children start choosing their own friends by a variety of standards.  At first they gravitate to others who share tangible similarities, such as the same kind of backpack or, in Sarah’s case, by what kind of clothes they wear.  Matt has a dinosaur backpack and it sports nifty zipper pockets for his spy paraphernalia:   magnifying glass, binoculars, pad of paper and pencil for any clues.  Soon youngsters pick friends who like the same things they do.  Some of Matt's friends play with Rescue Heroes.  A few have phoned him at home to find out when and what time Rescue Heroes is on TV.  Another called to chat with him about the after school chess club.

 Kids also quickly find out how they differ from their peers.  In Sarah's case, dress differences led to exclusion - and cliques.  When the girls in her class saw she was not wearing a dress, Sarah told me Cynthia said to the other girls (in dresses) "Lets not be friends with Sarah today."   Matt is immune to the idea of needing others to play with.  He is self absorbed in his own world, and would just be happy looking at a bug through a magnifying glass as others would wrestling with one another and boasting about all the “stuff they have.”   Matt soaks up knowledge.

 I make it a practice during my daily 'web time' to go into sites helping me to be a better Grandmother of Vigilance.   My goal is to keep a supply of Emotional Band Aids so the Beast of Terror doesn’t get a hold on either Sarah or Matt.    Plus, I have my own experiences to guide me, and, my common G-Ma- sense. 

    According to information from Sesame Street Parents      www.sesameworkshop.org     "Cliques revolve around conversation - Who's in who's out - and conversation is the essence of girls' social interactions.  Also, the constant attention paid to status is particularly true of girls".

Therein lies part of the difference between Matt’s social success and Sarah’s struggle to achieve it.  It shocked me that young girls at three- and four-years-of age would use how one dresses as a bludgeon to exclude others from their inner circle.  Sarah is beautiful no matter what she wears, and I don’t mean that just as grandmother.  People stop on the street to admire her.  She has her mother’s natural beauty.  It radiates from her as a gift.   I almost want to think the other girls are jealous of her natural beauty, and use her clothing as a means to demean her, to raise themselves above her gift of natural beauty.  

True beauty is inside a person

 As a woman, however, I know that vanity is part of womanhood.   Women have for eons primped and preened to look their best.   In ancient times, women used berries to redden their lips, and fashion has been a forefront for women while a secondary issue for men.  But to have her teased because her feathers aren’t the right kind or not fluffy enough in the eyes of other girls, irritated me.  Matt could care less what he wears—after all, he is a boy.

 "'Bye Sean. Bye Alex. See you guys tomorrow."  Matt responded to two of his pals who followed him out of the building.

 "Hey Sarah and G-Ma ,do you want to hear about the tidal wave, hurricane, volcano .....AND...earthquake that the Rescue Heroes have to fight"?

Matt took off his incredibly heavy backpack full of homework books and play paraphernalia and casually dropped it into my arms.  It really is a burden for his scrawny shoulders to carry all fourteen blocks to his apartment after a full day at school.  I had one on each side, Matt on the left, Sarah on the right and the dinosaur pack in the middle of my back as we headed home.

Cliff Hanger, Air Rescue Specialist

 "Well, G-Ma, Cliff Hanger and Billy Blazes radioed in to Command Center they were approaching some serious smoke and loud, VERY loud, crashing sounds.  CRASH! BANG! BOOOOM!  'Roger that, we copy'" Matt yelled out the sounds, pretending to be both characters.  Energy sparked from him as he skipped around me, pulling on my hand and crashing pell-mell into Sarah like a speeding racecar piloted by an erratic driver careening off the track guards and plowing into a stack of pylons.

 Billy Blazes leads the Launch Force™ team into burning buildings and explosive situations to rescue trapped victims and save lives.

"Ouch!  Matt, you ran into me, over me.  G-Ma, make him stop, pulleeze.   Matt, you quit it. I'll run over you if you don't, Sarah bellowed.   I was glad to see the return of my bristly Amazon gal who usually doesn't take anything from anybody.

 "Ohhhhhhh-kaayyy, Sarah.  Soon it will be time for the girl Rescue Heroes and maybe you can tell part of the story when it's time for Wendy or Ariel to help.”  Matt patted his sister on her shoulder in his kindly big brother fashion.  That was his magic, I thought, his concern for others despite his gift of being very very smart.

Matt is an empathetic soul-mate for Sarah.  They are very close and usually play well together. He frequently comes 'to the rescue' of his little sister.  But, there it was again—rejection, alienation. Matt was not letting Sarah play until he said she could.  He was keeping her outside the circle. My little Amazon bird was put off this time not because of what she wore, but her sex.  I could see her feathers drooping once again.

 "Hey, Matt, how nice of you to include Wendy and Ariel in your story."  I didn't want to make a big deal about his wording in his offer for her to play.  He was nice enough to include her after the fact, but I could see Sarah was having a bad day and was sad again.  It was time for more Emotional Band Aids.

Ariel Flyer, Wilderness Pilot and Veterinarian

Matt, sharp as a tack, took my cue.  He swerved around me and took Sarah's hand in his.  "Hey, Sarah, you tell the story about how Ariel and Wendy saved the rest of the Rescue Heroes.  Please." 

Wendy Waters and Smokey, the firedog

 "So.....Wendy and Ariel flew together to Command Center and........."  Sarah's Voice was quaky and unsure in the first part of her tale. It grew strong as she neared a crescendo several minutes later....."and the girls saved the whole 'ntire team of Rescue Heroes....and everyone lived happily ever after. How's that, Matt?"

"Sarahhhhhh......this isn't a princess story.  Don't end it 'happily ever after.'  Maybe the girls got an award or medal from the rest of the Team for doing such a good job or something like that."  Matt glanced up at me.  I had "Band-Aids" in my eyes.  He caught the point.  "Awe, you told a GREAT story, 'Sar'."  Matt threw a smile my way.  His blue-green eyes gleamed.  After all he taught Sarah all about Thomas Train toys and now she was almost an expert on the Rescue Heroes.

I force myself to remember that Sarah is younger and has less sophisticated social skills than Matt.   Today, Matt was being a Vigilant brother.  He was boosting Sarah’s verbal and creative strength, and expanding her confidence at imaginative play and storytelling.  Matt is a master at storytelling for his age.  At first he wouldn’t let Sarah “into the stories.”  He hogged them.  But slowly, he has allowed her to participate as she has grown older and more capable of expressing herself.  He was like my older brother who brought me the magic bat.  He was being a Brother of Vigilance, helping Sarah overcome her Fears, Intimidations and Complacencies.

 Most of the children Matt and Sarah know are boys. Sarah has benefited from a few girl friends but far fewer than Matt.  Sarah’s mother is aware of the need for Sarah to have more girlfriends, and is working on helping her develop them so her self worth isn’t hinged on what Cynthia says at school, or whether she wears a dress or not.

Self worth is the genuine band-aid for the soul

Parents of Vigilance want their children and grandchildren to be socially competent and to be able to mesh their behavior with that of their playmates. The capacity to interact while playing means that the child will have an easier time adjusting to society as he or she grows older.  But the Beast of Terror preys on the innocent and vulnerable.  It would like to stunt a child’s emotional growth, turn him or her into a doormat so that his or her Fears, Intimidations and Complacencies make the child ripe for its attacks.   I see the Beast of Terror working on Sarah in insidious ways.  He shows his fangs in cutting comments made by schoolmates who unknowingly play into its claws.   Sarah, like so many children, can only be protected from the Beast by Vigilance.   As a Grandparent of Vigilance, I see the bruises on her soul, that sense of “not belonging” that could, if left unattended, lead her into feeling she wasn’t “good enough,” “pretty enough,” “liked enough.”  Her mother and father are Parents of Vigilance.  They know the constitution of a person is built from the inside out, not the outside in.   Matt has a good handle on that part of his maturity, and he’s a Brother of Vigilance, passing it down to his sister.   I pray the Sentinels of Vigilance are keeping an eye on Sarah’s heart when I or her parents aren’t around.   I only wanted her to know she could fight the Beast of Terror with thoughts and not let it wound her without a battle.  The Sentinels of Vigilance were my Rescue Heroes for Sarah.

Hal E. Copter, Flying Fireman

 "Hal E. Copter, come NOW, my helper shark Mako and I need you to help the ‘peoples’ who fell off their ship.  Do you copy, Hal E. Copter?"  Sarah crashed into her apartment startling her seven-month-old brother Angus as well as her mom.

Maureen Biologist and Mako, the Rescue Shark

Matt picked up the conversation.  "Maureen, I copy.  We need Cliff Hanger too.  I'm still at Command Center and will radio him."  Matt was right on the heels of his now spunky sister who yelled out "Roger that."

 My older daughter just laughed at her two Rescue Heroes aficionados.  She opened her arms for their rambunctious hugs. Angus, newly crawling, lumbered toward them on all fours, squealing all the way.

 "So, my little Rescue Heroes, you seem to be having a great time with G-Ma, telling exciting stories all the way home.  How was school today, loves."   She moved toward the refrigerator to extract the apple juice they drank upon arriving home.
             "Mommy, I let Annabelle play with me when the other girls said she couldn't play with us.” 

I perked up.   Sarah had neglected to tell me she was a Rescue Hero at school.   She had broken the circle she so eagerly wanted to be part of—the “I’m-beautiful-because-I’m-wearing-a-dress” circle.   Like her brother, she had gone to the aid of the underdog.  She had given up the glimmer of the floodlights to befriend another “ugly duckling” the flock had cast out. 

Rescue Hero Band-Aids

 Guess I really don't have to worry all that much about my little hero, Sarah.
             I watched the kids play with their brother, eager to walk and to be a viable part of their playgroup.  
             I thought of Annabelle—sad and lonely because the “pretty people” had turned their backs on her.   I realized that when Sarah announced she had “let Annabelle play with me,” she had healed a scar.   She had learned the most fundamental lesson of self worth, that giving is more important than taking, that sharing is more important than excluding others, that selflessness rose above selfishness.
            I looked at little Angus, almost coming into his eighth month.   He was going to be a lucky kid, because he had a Brother and Sister of Vigilance.  He had two Rescue Heroes looking out for his Emotional and Physical welfare.
            And Sarah?   Yes, I thought, she’s going to be fine.   She took her Pledge of Vigilance with Annabelle, but she added something to it that came from the Rescue Heroes.

Vigilance is the best cure for the Beast of Terror

“Leave no one behind,” is the creed of the Rescue Heroes.   No.  She had decided to take Annabelle out of the arms of the Beast of Terror.  She snatched her right out of the Beast’s Fear, Intimidation and Complacency.   Sarah, I thought, should carry the Emotional Band Aids.   She has a lot of friends she could put them on, and they would gladly want them whether Sarah wore a dress or pants—it just wouldn’t matter.

 The Vigilant Reminder of the Day—it’s straight from the Rescue Heroes-- “Don’t leave anyone behind!”  “Be safe out there!”  And, I’ll add, “Be Vigilant!”  “Don’t leave anyone stranded in the arms of the Beast of Terror!  Become a Parent, Grandparent, Brother, Sister, Cousin, Uncle, Aunt or simply Loved One of Vigilance today.”




Go To Sophia Wisdom 23 "Toys of Vigilance"


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