I grew up on a farm where the air was clean, the grass was plentiful, and the trees were worthy to be climbed. My childhood memories consist of stomping through mud puddles with my older brother, meeting my dad for picnic lunches in the hay fields in summertime, baking cookies with my mother, helping my grandma wash the dishes when I was small enough that standing on a chair still made it difficult to reach the sink, listening to my big sister read me stories of princesses and dragons before bedtime, and having root beer floats and popcorn with my grandpa. These are the memories I treasure with the family I love.
In Cambodia, children’s memories may not include baking cookies or having root beer floats, but I have witnessed the joy that comes from sharing life within a family. There are still mud puddles to be splashed in with brothers and sisters. There are dads working in the rice fields whose lunches are being delivered by their children. There are grandmothers teaching their grandchildren invaluable life skills. There are mothers taking their daughters to the market and teaching them to pick the freshest produce. There are stories and laughter being shared.
Regardless of where you are, this is the beauty of family, and it cannot be manufactured in an institution.
Blog by Heather Blanch.