Last year, I took my whole family to the March for Life in Washington, D.C., including my 4 year old daughter, Grace. She frequently goes out to the abortion clinics with me to pray. She knows what it means to be pregnant. She has a very simplified understanding of abortion. She had never been exposed to any graphic signs. I knew she would be at the March for Life. I didn’t know what she would say or how she would handle it, but I didn’t want to hide them from her. We were walking to the March and walked by a large exhibit that showed graphic signs. I thought, “Okay, here we go. She will definitely see this.” When we got in front of the sign that showed an aborted baby at 24 weeks, she stopped and stared. I stopped, knelt down beside her, put my hand on her shoulder and waited for her to respond. She probably stood there and stared in silence for about 15 seconds (which is about the equivalent of a year in 4 year old time). Then, she turned around and looked at me with a compassionate expression. She pointed to the picture and said, “Mommy, that baby is broken.” I smiled at the simplicity and accuracy of her observation. I simply responded, “Yes, Grace. That baby has been broken.” She grabbed my hand and started walking again.
I wasn’t sure if or how she had been impacted by what she saw that day, until a few nights later when we were saying our night time prayers. Grace was praying and said, “Please keep babies from being broken and keep them safe in their mommy’s tummies.” I sighed with relief. She had gotten it. She had made the connection between abortion and that broken baby.
I am writing this to encourage parents to talk to your kids about the reality of abortion. Children are perceptive. They are able to understand so much more than we think they can. Their honesty is real. I’m sure some will criticize me for bringing Grace out to the abortion clinics to pray at such a young age. But I think it is appropriate. I want her to be active in this movement. I want her to know that she can make a difference…that she is ALREADY making a difference…no matter her age. I want her to see her mom and dad leading by example. I want her to know that we are not people who just say we are pro-life; we are people who live out our pro-life beliefs.
This goes for everything we are involved in. I don’t want my children to be sheltered from the reality in this world. When we volunteer at homeless shelters, she is there with us. When there is a young girl who needs a place to live, we are happy to bring her into our home and make her a part of our family. If we go pray to spare the life of someone who is about to be executed, Grace will be there with us. We always want Grace to put our money in the offering plate at church. Every six months, Grace does a big toy clean out. She gathers her toys that she no longer wants and we go donate them to various charities. Being pro-life doesn’t just stop at the abortion clinics for our family. We are pro-quality of life. We want Grace to see that.
Trust me, we are not going to win any “parents of the year” awards. But if there is one thing I can instill in my child, it is truth through charity. I always want to be the number one person cheering on my daughter to not just do the right thing, but to always do the right thing in love and charity. I always pray that she be honest at all times. I pray that she learn how to be honest from us, her parents. I pray that we set a good example for her. I pray that she grow up with a solid understanding of the value of life. I pray that she is able to see the value in all life, born and unborn. I pray that pro-life parents will empower our children, at a young age, to get involved in this movement. Your pro-life witness might be the best inheritance you can leave for your children.