Sunday, February 1, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Children don’t need much – but need to know they matter

By
From page A2 | October 13, 2012 |

It’s a part of Las Vegas seldom seen by tourists who would rather spend their time and money in the neon glow of the Strip.

We were on our way out of town for an overnight on Mount Charleston, an 11,000-foot peak an hour’s drive from Vegas that serves as a ski resort in winter, and in other seasons, a respite from the desert inferno.

For me, it was a chance to see a little fall color — not like the autumns I knew as a child in the mountains of North Carolina, but better than no color at all.

I was homesick for fall. My husband knew it. When I said, “Let’s go,” he said, “Yes, let’s.”

You have to like the kind of man who says that.

When a missed exit on the freeway put us on a slightly different path, as life often will, we found ourselves sitting at a traffic light trying to avoid eye contact with people trying to sell us things we didn’t want to buy.

That’s when I spotted her — a skinny little girl about 3 or 4 years old. Her hair was tightly braided in swirly rows, pinned to her scalp with hot-pink barrettes. She wore a short ruffly dress with leggings and sandals, and a smile to outshine all the neon on the Strip. Even at a distance, I could see the light that danced in her eyes.

She seemed well-cared for and happy, skipping across the street holding the hand of a woman who struck me, as my grandmother would say, like somebody who knew how to raise a child right.

That’s all I can tell you. I know nothing, really, about that child. But something about her — how she seemed to see everything at once — reminded me of another child from a lifetime ago.

She grew up in the country, not the city, crossing cow pastures, not crowded streets.

Her family didn’t have a lot, but they had enough, usually, to keep cornbread on the table, a tin roof over her head and hand-me-down shoes on her feet.

At times she wished for things other children took for granted — lunch money or Christmas presents or parents who didn’t fight. But mostly, she felt lucky.

She had teachers who made her feel smart. Sunday-school teachers who made her feel loved. Grandparents who made her think she could hang the moon and all its stars. And a small, but caring community of people who believed in her, cheered for her, opened their hearts and their homes to her, helped her grow up and get a scholarship to go to college, and always prayed for her best.

Children don’t need much. But they need know they matter.

Later that evening, I sat on a balcony at Mount Charleston, with aspen leaves glittering like gold coins in the distance and the colors of sunset spilling over the desert, and thought about the little girl I’d seen on the street.

I hope she has everything she needs — someone to make her feel smart, loved and capable of anything, even the impossible.

Especially the impossible.

I hope her parents are happy, together or apart, and make choices based on her best interests.

I hope she has a good, reliable dog. A sister to look out for her. A brother to read to. And grandparents who swear she hangs the moon and its stars.

I hope the women in her life stick by her, the men say “yes, let’s” and her car always starts.

I hope she goes to college, lands a job she loves and keeps it for as long as she wants.

I hope she marries well, raises her children right and gets to spoil her grandchildren.

I hope she knows she matters.

And in the autumn of her life, if she ever forgets, I hope she will see a child on the street and remember how lucky, how very blessed she has been.

(Sharon Randall can be contacted at P.O. Box 777394, Henderson NV 89077, or at www.sharonrandall.com.)

Sharon Randall

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

 
Police make 2nd arrest in deadly Thanksgiving Day shooting

By Glen Faison | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Fire Department honors top firefighters

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Everything you need to know about Super Bowl

By Brad Stanhope | From Page: A2

 
4th annual Health and Wellness Fair a big success

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
$340,688 brick replacement for Texas Street complete

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3

 
Chocolate: A long journey to deliciousness

By Karen Metz | From Page: C4

 
Banish dry skin this winter

By Sarah Porkka | From Page: C4

 
County board to consider DA reorganization plan

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A5

Eurozone offers lesson in debt

By Mark Sievers | From Page: B7

 
Rodriguez graduate completes basic training

By Nick DeCicco | From Page: B10

 
Fairfield police log: Jan. 30, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: Jan. 30, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
.

US / World

NASA launches Earth-observing satellite

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
From ocean to ocean, through the Panama Canal

By The Associated Press | From Page: C1

Video: Islamic State group beheads Japanese journalist

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Scientist considered father of birth control pill dies

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

‘Rolled Sleeves Bandit’ tied to 7 bank robberies in custody

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Bay Area agency accuses former official of embezzling $1.3M

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Los Angeles female-only mosque may be first in US

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
California health care contract fight resolved

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Man arrested after body parts found in suitcase

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Letter with suspicious powder received at Samaritan’s Purse

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Snails slither into spa scene in Thailand and around world

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

 
Not so ‘Good to Go’ when man gets $18,000 toll bridge bill

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Balloon pilots make history with trans-Pacific flight

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Whitney Houston’s daughter found unresponsive in tub

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Hatfields, McCoys make moonshine legally in southern W.Va.

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Airport authorities: Traveler beats homeless man with chair

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Kerry: ‘Enormous interest in new relationship with Cuba

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Drivers: Return to your dealers for a 2nd air bag recall fix

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Fire at Bangladesh plastics factory kills at least 13

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Vatican investigates 2 cases of child porn possession

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

Islamic State fighters admit defeat in Syrian town of Kobani

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
From car lots to city budgets, cheap oil means change

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

Africa agrees to send 7,500 troops to fight Boko Haram

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
5 given preliminary charges over jihadi network in France

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Fire devastates major Russian library, threatens rare texts

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

Swiss police: 4 dead after avalanche hits group of skiers

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Civilians flee east Ukraine town as fighting intensifies

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

British actress Geraldine McEwan dies at age 82

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Greek leader tamps down rhetoric, vows to pay off debts

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Iraqi libraries ransacked by Islamic State group in Mosul

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
.

Opinion

 
Sound off for Feb. 1, 2015

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8

 
Good old days weren’t as good as we remember

By Megan Mcardle | From Page: A8

Editorial Cartoon: Feb. 1, 2015

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
.

Living

Community Calendar: Feb. 1, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Today in History: Feb. 1, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Prayer, commonly misunderstood

By The Rev. Rick L. Stonestreet | From Page: C3

 
Mormon leaders call for measures protecting gay rights

By The Associated Press | From Page: C3

Sundance doc pulls back curtain on Scientology

By The Associated Press | From Page: C3

 
Horoscopes: Feb. 1, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: C4

Volunteer or visit because February is National Salute to Veteran Patients

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: C4

 
.

Entertainment

New book to feature unpublished Hemingway conversations

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

 
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY BEST-SELLERS

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

Review: ‘First Bad Man’ is Miranda July’s debut novel

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

 
Lorrie Moore nominated for short story prize

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

.

Sports

Mustangs win the whole Encalada

By Marcus Lomtong | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Super Bowl the final act of the NFL’s worst season

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Lowest prices on last-minute Super Bowl tickets near $9,000

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Seau, Bettis, Brown, Haley, Shields voted into Hall of Fame

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Rodgers wins MVP, Watt unanimous top AP defensive player

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Lydia Ko takes No. 1 spot at 17, Na Yeon Choi wins opener

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Laird takes a 3-shot lead in Phoenix Open

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

.

Business

On the money: Low gas prices, incentives change math for electric cars

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
Small talk: NFL players find second careers as entrepreneurs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

Recalls this week: space heaters, orbital sanders

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Sumptuous seaside hotel sells for record-shattering $360M

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Review: Open e-book format comes with headaches

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
.

Obituaries

Garry A. Britton

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Anthony Neal Hunley

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Frank Z. Perez

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Joe Lambert Robinson

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

Flora Mae Brooks

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Otilia (Tela) Quinn

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

Lester Singer

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
WillIiam “Bill” Hunter

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics