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Dandelion children. Powerful and pertinent metaphor.

Dandelion children. Powerful and pertinent metaphor.

There was a new Curator of Sweden on Monday.

And it was also my eldest daughter’s sixteenth birthday.

Here’s what we wrote in Molly’s birthday card.

To a very beautiful, talented, clever, conscientious daughter. You have grown up into a lovely young lady. We are so proud of you. We love you.

And in stark contrast here’s something that Pernilla from @Sweden said that same morning.

From the moment Molly was born my sensitivity to child abuse stories in the news increased exponentially.

Before Molly I could rationally and reasonably appreciate that these things were terrible. But if I’m honest it was a skin deep and short lived kind of appreciation.

After Molly each story was like a medicine ball to the solar plexus.

“What if that happened to her?”

Once you’ve had children of your own the idea of hurt or neglect happening to any child, not just your own, becomes intolerable. I mean at a visceral level.

I find Barnado’s ads hard to watch.

So on Molly’s sixteenth birthday of all days the idea of Dandelion children hit me right between the eyes.

It is such a rich and potent metaphor, the flower growing out of the asphalt.

So many contradictory themes and emotions.

Hopeless and hopeful.

Barren and beautiful.

Fragile and resilient.

So much concentrated meaning in such a simple, memorable image.

It has stayed with me for days.

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