I love kids. I love the things they say, giving us a priceless (and often hilarious) glimpse of the world as seen through their eyes. I love watching little toddler diaper butts running around a playground. I love shrieks of school-aged laughter. I love the sheer joy children find in just…being.
And babies? Don’t get me started. I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve stifled an urge in the grocery store to just go over and blow a raspberry on some stranger’s baby’s belly. (I swear, chubby baby bellies just call to me. Thank goodness for self-control.)
We all have opportunities and possibilities before us, no matter what our age or circumstance, yet children are just so new into their journey, so unaided and full of potential that I find myself in awe of them.
Just as strongly as I feel this love and admiration of children, I feel a sharp sadness knowing way too many children face unnecessary obstacles that limit their opportunities and stifle their potential. Too many children don’t have access to basic things we know children need to grow up to be successful adults – safe and stable homes, schools, and communities that encourage our kids to dream big and to provide them with skills, guidance and support that can make those dreams a reality; access to care and services that promote their health and wellbeing and address concerns when they arise; and even chances for kids to make mistakes, followed by opportunities to learn from them.
All kids deserve to be all they can be, but all kids aren’t given this opportunity. It’s this realization that drives me in my work, and a strong desire to increase opportunities and reduce barriers and so that more kids can reach their inborn potential.
Can you even imagine the riches Texas would reap if we tapped into that natural resource – our kids?
Editor's note: This is part of our Share Why You Care series, where members of our staff and network share why children should be a focus in these critical weeks leading up to the election and the months before the legislative session. To check out earlier contributions, read a contribution from, health policy associate Lauren Dimitry, CEO Eileen Garcia, juvenile justice expert Lauren Rose, child welfare expert Ashley, and membership director Sondra.