if you looked

I think if you got close enough and really, truly looked…

You would see a mom and dad tucking their little ones into bed and giving them a goodnight kiss after an hour and half of trying to get them to wind down.

You would see little legs running to mommy and daddy’s room after a bad dream.

You would see a father sitting at the table after everyone else has gone to sleep, calculating his budget over and over and over again,  praying those long shifts will be enough to keep his family warm and fed.

You would see a momma waving to her daughter as she gets on the bus for her first day of school, hoping she will make a friend and that no one will be mean to her.

You would see a rambunctious little tyke laughing, running, splashing–and eventually swimming–in puddles after rain and you would see a tired mother sighing as she dreads pulling him out of his sopping wet clothing and giving him another bath.

You would see a father holding his crying child who just wants to see his mom again.

You would see a mother dreaming of the things her children will achieve with opportunities she didn’t have.

You would see a little boy eyeing the candy jar, too shy to ask for a piece even after his dad’s encouragement, and you would see the delight in his eyes when you give him a piece any way.

You would see parents proudly introduce you to their tiny newborn.

You would see a mom, who is not playing games anymore,  raise her eyebrows at the sibling instigating the squabble and see the sibling mumble a half-hearted apology.

You would see a wife telling her husband she misses him and loves him, her voice cracking because she’s exhausted trying to do this all by herself.

You would see a mother proudly prompting her son to tell you what she’s learning at school.

You would see a father reuniting with his children, who have somehow gotten so big, for the first time in years.

You would see a father shaking over the death of his first born.

You would see a mother rocking back and forth on the floor, in absolute emotional agony, imagining what could have happened, what could be happening, to the children who were taken from her.

You would see these things. If you looked.

And I am certain of this: You would not see a refugee. You would see yourself.



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