Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Cute KIDS by the Side of the Road!

Sometimes kids here are dressed in the most random tee shirts and ripped pants, and then they remind me of my four baby boy cousins.

My baby boy cousins are growing up on a farm in rural France. They have chores like feeding the chicks and chasing down cows. Kids here have chores like that, too.

At 6, my baby boy cousins learn to drive the smaller of the tractors. Kids here don’t get to, because they don’t have many tractors. But kids here get crazy responsibilities, like caring for their younger siblings and walking long distances alone and working for money and and and

My baby boy cousins are dressed in hand-me-downs most of the time because really? Why not? When N was just over four years old, he grinned at me and said he was going to grab a sweater before teaching me how to feed the chicks-to-be-slaughtered. His little footsteps echoed on the floorboards overhead – he came back, gripped my hand, pulled me to the door. And he was wearing this bright purple sweatshirt thing that had “I’m a Sweet Irish Girl” stamped across it.

“E,” I said to his mother afterwards, “do you realize you are cross-dressing my cousins?”

E rolled her eyes at me and gave me a look. “It’s warm. It’s functional. It was free. He’s going to destroy it soon enough with the dirt of the farm anyway. Why not?”

Yeah, okay. Lesson learnt.

For the children here, partially it’s poverty, the way they dress. My cousins have clean suits to wear to church. Not all these children do.

But partially it’s not. And all those stupid sensationalistic news articles describing kids here and they clothes they wear, in an attempt to evoke pity in the minds of their mindless readers, are so often missing the point.

No comments: