Wednesday, December 14, 2011

One Little Boy

There's a little boy in the nursery at FS who is about a year old.  He was one of those special babies with lots of personality that everyone just loves.  But last night as I lay in bed processing the day I couldn't help but cry for him.

What was a healthy, little charmer has been constantly sick lately.  He's lost weight and is having continuous tummy trouble.  The ladies who look after the nursery love him but are getting tired of his diapers overflowing onto them or being vomited on numerous times a day.  He's been to the doctor over and over but keeps getting sick.

The reason is this:  a while back his mother who had been free from the trade for about 18 months made a really, really bad decision.  Someone had helped her find a place to live a bit of a ways away.  They helped her with the deposit needed so that she would have a good place to stay and manageable rent.  For some reason she decided that she didn't want to live there and without telling anyone got the money back from the deposit, came back to the red light area, and leased a room that she can't afford.  So while she's working at FS during the day she's also standing in line for customers at night just to pay her exorbitant rent. 

During the day her small son is loved and cared for in the nursery, but at night he's being handed around to whoever is willing to watch him at the moment while his mother 'works.'  He's not getting enough sleep and he's obviously not being fed good food and water.  He's getting clingier and clingier to those who look after him during the day and is now a worried, sick little boy.  

While FS doesn't fire a woman because she's 'moonlighting,' we do want women to make the decision themselves to be free.  A women still dabbling in the trade is certainly a cause for concern and people are walking beside her to try to find a solution.  This particular mother needs to learn that she needs to appreciate help being offered and that help isn't necessarily there to bail her out over and over.  She needs help, but she needs to learn responsibility as well.  In the meantime, I'm assuming it must be similar to a grandparent watching their grandchild suffer because of their child's bad decisions, in that it's hard to watch her little son pay the price.

There are several of us who just feel like looking after him ourselves, but is that a solution?  It might be better for him at least for a while, but this woman is his mother and she does love him and want to keep him.  Going down a path that might lead to him eventually becoming a ward of the state isn't a good option either.  And if you begin looking after one child there are many more that could use looking after as well!

A friend who's not with FS is toying with the idea of opening a night shelter for kids just like this.  A place for children to be safe while their mothers work.  I have mixed feelings about this because it's a 'band-aid' solution.  It could make a HUGE difference in the lives of children currently in need but it's not a long-term solution since what really needs to be done is more things like FS that will help their mothers leave the trade.  But in working beside trying to develop the long-term it could be quite good.  

But last night this little boy was undoubtedly passed around, possibly abused, and is still sick..............

And I don't have an answer for him.

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