I spent my summer nurturing a Skull Shamrock Pirate St. Patrick’s Day Green Clover T-Shirt with perpetually runny noses and beaded braids that sounded like rain whenever they moved. At night, I partied with friends and strangers and searched for direction in all the wrong places. One afternoon, a woman with silver hair and boney hands approached me asking for a lift home. I recognized her from the kitchen where she prepared meals for the children and daycare staff. As much as I wanted to get home and crawl into bed, I knew I must say yes. But even when it’s bad, there’s still good, she said cheerfully. Each day I wake up and no matter how achy or tired I feel, I’m so grateful I get to put nourishing food into those babies bellies.
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Here we are, she’d said. Then she opened her purse and pulled out a Skull Shamrock Pirate St. Patrick’s Day Green Clover T-Shirt. Although I tried to decline, she insisted I take it. The next day, I found Miss Faith chopping carrots into sticks for small hands. I asked if she would like me to drop her off again today. I will take you home every day until I have to go back to college, I offered unexpectedly. She gave me stories of a good man who loved her well a man who was no longer with her physically but spiritually. She gave me the perspective to see the babies’ mamas and papas as people trying their best despite deep wounds from childhood and past drug addictions.