Next, she’d show off her “Sailor Moon” video collection. I never understood why Shelly enjoyed Sailor Moon so much but anything on the screen was an alluring treat to me and at first, I enjoyed the overall adventure of living this overt “other life.” Empty house, no parents around till 6 or 7, watch anything you like on t.v., eat anything you want…be accountable to no one.
Occasionally at 15, I thought I wanted this life. Then I stepped into my home and mom was in the kitchen, ready to greet me with a hug and listening ear, a few trays of warm, home-made granola or muffins waiting on the stove. A delicious afternoon snack. Our suburban three story fairly shook with people and activity. Five active kids plus frequent visitors equaled a lot of noise, regular untidiness and little quiet…but I loved it. Our home was alive and despite their love of beautiful furnishings, mom and dad were willing to risk ruin for welcome.
Shelly’s only constant daytime companion was the key in her pocket which opened the door to a lonely, depressing after-school existence. No one cared if she had a good day or bad. No one made her a wholesome snack to eat. No one encouraged her to complete her homework instead of spending hours watching “Sailor Moon” and other shows. No one took the time to give her guidance…to face the fact that she was but a child in need of wisdom and direction, not a 15 year old adult. Bringing herself up.
Now, I’m a mom. I hope to follow the priceless example shown me by my own mother who never turned down the opportunity to minister to a needy child, whether her own or someone elses. I’ll be home when the kids get home. May our house, big or small, be a haven for the poor latchkey child and would I never forget that ultimately, no t.v. show can hold a candle in a child’s heart to a motherly touch and good food. My children, their friends…all will be welcomed home.