Don't mess with them!
Don’t mess with them!

See these faces? I love them unconditionally. I would do anything for these kids.

They’re also the reasons work has been so difficult for me lately. It was so hard to report the news of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, look at pictures of 6-year-olds who were killed and not think about my own sweet niece. I wanted to turn off my computer, run to her house and make sure was safe and happy and never sets foot in an elementary school.

He charmed Mama's cousin Kira into giving him a lift.
He charmed Mama’s cousin Kira into giving him a lift.

This weekend, I was at my brother’s house. He had the local city council meeting on TV. Residents were asking the council to put in a stoplight, lower the speed limit on or build a pedestrian bridge over a busy road that separates their neighborhood from the elementary school, gym and playground. A little kid was hit by a car in the dangerous crosswalk recently.

OMG! If a car hit one of my little buddies, Auntie Candace would move to that town, run for mayor and commission the damn stoplight myself! And you know what? If I were mayor everyone who asked for a stoplight or bridge to protect children would get one.

I’ll do anything to make sure those kids know they’re loved (short of moving to rural Maryland or suburban Minnesota). I joke that I buy their love at Toys R Us or Target, but they’re actually pleased on the cheap. The big one is thrilled when grown-ups want to sit on the floor and play ponies with her (it used to be princesses, but she’s over them). The middle one is really too big to be carried, but he knows his auntie will sacrifice her back health to carry him home from the park. Secretly, though, it’s because it’s the only time he cuddles, and he’ll be too big for that soon.

The little one is into peek-a-boo and clapping. He’ll have more sophisticated tastes soon, I’m sure.

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