Thank Heaven For Little Girls
Song from the Broadway Musical, "Gigi"

Hank Mattimore
March 20 2013
Reproduced with Permission

A Latina mom comes into the meditation chapel with her little girl. The girl, who looks to be about ten-years-old, kneels with her mother. Mom brings out a prayer book and mother and daughter kneel close together reading from the same book.

It's quiet, oh so quiet. In the distance, I hear the faint hum of traffic on Montgomery Drive but within, there is nothing but the sound of silence. In the quiet, a little girl rests her head on her mothers shoulder and whispers her prayers.

As I ponder the peaceful scene, my out-of-control mind takes a nosedive down, down, down, it wanders. Somewhere, a little girl that age is being teased or bullied by a gang of schoolmates. Somewhere, little girls are being imprisoned as sex slaves by lustful men or made to work 14-hour days in a factory in Central America. Somewhere, little girls like this can not read from a prayer book or any book because they are not taught to read. I shake my head and try to dismiss the negativity.

I re-focus my attention on the little girl kneeling with her mama in church. She is safe and loved and praying to the God of love. I never met this little girl but I know her. I have seen her in my own daughter and grand daughters, protected kids who have their own room, play with American Girl dolls and eat nourishing food.

I see her, too in the children I lived with at the Children's Village and in the kids I visited in an elementary school in Guatemala, and the little kids I see playing in the homeless shelter here in Santa Rosa. This little kid is all kids who have filled my life and I pray to God that her mom may continue to love and protect her in her journey.

I am sick at heart about the suffering that girls have to endure in this world of ours. The parent in me cries; the dad in me is angry at what we allow to happen to all the little girls (and little boys) who are our responsibility. It's not okay; it never was okay that our children be made to suffer because we have allowed our dark side free reign. No! Dammit, No!

In the chapel, mom puts her arm around her child and they say a final prayer together before they leave. I send my own prayer and my dreams winging their way.

The words from "Gigi" run through my mind. The jaunty Maurice Chevalier is singing "Thank Heaven for little girls. They grow up in such a delightful way." Please God, may we work together to make it happen.