When my first child was born, there was no denying her full personhood. We often joke that she spoke in full sentences in the delivery room, and introduced herself to the doctors and nurses. Almost maybe. Those who knew her from the time she was small know that this isn't far from the truth. Now that she is 17 she insists that everyone recognize her as an equal. At work today that didn't go quite as planned. There was another lady waiting tables beside her who is 24 and she asked Kendra to take a shift for her later in the day. When Kendra hesitated, she lurched into a spiel about how her husband was going out of town, blahblahblah and how she being older than Kendra "had a life".
We have talked a lot about this tonight - what it means to have a life. Technically it means that your heart is beating inside your chest, electrical currents are firing in your brain, and you are breathing inhale, exhale. Interesting that living has come to mean so much more. What I saw clearly in this statement was how overwhelmingly we belittle the importance of children, instead of recognizing as Charlotte Mason would say that they are each born persons. We don't make them that way, nor does whatever way we demean them diminish this truth.
In applying this truth, that young woman had no more right to have the evening off than Kendra did, regardless of what was going on in her life. Kendra can't wait to be 18 so she can be validated as an adult. It isn't because she has grown up in a home where she was made to feel small and insignficant - it is how God made her. She is fully valued, appreciated and respected for the amazing person she is in the here and now. She doesn't have to accomplish, do or be any particular thing. Nor do her siblings.