I might have been five. My parents had taken me shopping at Sears in Lubbock for my first bicycle. There was one I really wanted. It was bright pink and had purple streamers attached to the grips. It was the most beautiful bike I’d ever seen.
My mommy and daddy tried to get me interested in a different bike. I don’t remember what it looked like, only that it had a lack of streamers. I’m sure it was more in line with their meager budget, but at the tender age of five budgets didn’t matter much.
I turned my back on the offensive bike, and I’m sure I stuck out my bottom lip and crossed my arms in protest, striking a petulant pose in the middle of the busy department store. When I turned back around, I was by myself. I thought my parents had left me because I was pouting about the bicycle. Suddenly all my anger evaporated and I began to wail.
A kind woman came and took me to customer service, but I was sobbing too hard to tell anyone my name. When my parents realized I hadn’t followed them out of the bike section they hurried to customer service to find me inconsolable. They hugged and fussed over me and finally I was able to calm down. They’d been “missing” for maybe five minutes. I’m 61 and I remember the separation like it happened yesterday.
So, let’s think about these children being separated from their parents at the border, their cries haunted my dreams last night. Let’s think about the trauma our trump-led government is inflicting on innocent children. Let’s pray that the harm we are doing isn’t permanent.
We will pay for what we are doing. Maybe not now, but we will watch these young people reach adulthood with righteous anger in their hearts. And we will deserve the consequences.
By the way, I got the plain bicycle, but Daddy put streamers on the handlebars and added a squeaky horn and a white wicker basket onto the front. I embraced it. I had a change of heart.