Around the time I was born in 1987, Margaret Thatcher was making headlines as being elected Prime Minister for the third time. Dirty Dancing had just been debuted, and Michael Jackson released ‘Bad.’ An anti-AIDS drug had just been approved by the FDA and The Simpsons was first aired on television. The mitten scarf was the rage.
Today’s 2016 headlines aren’t as cheery or colourful.
They are heavy, hurtful and hate-driven. Fuelled by death, terrorism and destruction, war, murder and mess.
The news is violent and volatile.
The news hurts.
But on this day a prospect was born, though it went unwritten.
On this day, new possibility occurred around 353,000 times, according to UNICEF statistics, as each new life was brought into his or her mother’s arms.
Today’s news is about more than last breaths, for there were also 353,000 firsts. And these are the stories we miss.
And the following is but a single one, but it deserves mention, as each does. In brief, it goes a little something like this:
On this day a babe was born into the arms of her parents living in a country where they finally feel what it is to be safe.
She was delivered gently into a hospital where she and her mother were accommodated with the best equipment and knowledge that could be provided to her, unlike her previous three births.
She was born into a hospital in a city where the hum of a fan was the only sound to be heard, instead of the sound of bombs dropping and women screaming in the distance, which is the case from where they fled.
On this day a mother smelled her newborn’s head, adorned in thick black curls and looked into her big dark eyes, and she sensed her security and her promise. So bright and beautiful, her name would make reference to a female deer.
On this day a mother called a father and delivered him good news. News that they had added to and not from the family, at last.
This birth was remarkable for them. Monumental and life changing for their family.
But you didn’t read this type of story.
Yet on this day hope for the future was born 353,000 times in varying ways.
And these 353,000 stories will soon matter.
Because these parents, when well supported, will deliver us our future leaders.
These babies, whose limbs we dress in delicate knits and whose bums we cleanse in lukewarm water will make up our front page news down the line.
And so we must hold them with the tenderness as if preserving a delicate flower, yet guide them with the firm hand to give them the confidence to make a positive mark on the planet.
Because our future depends on it.
Because respect and revere for their possibility starts on day one.
So today I may be driving a family to a doctor’s appointment or helping them catch up on washing the dishes, or even wiping spit-up off the floor to give a family the support and time they need to help connect to their child.
Today in the scheme of things, that really means so little. It didn’t make the news.
But for the future, that child’s support system will mean everything.
So it is my honour to have but a teeny tiny role in a child’s village, and to have the privilege in seeing families succeed in raising well loved babies.
For they are babies for such a short time.
And then what will our headlines read?