I Forgot To Pray For Good Health For All Babies

Recently my family has been challenged by health issues. My oldest son has an “undiagnosed” learning disability that is once again being “discovered” by a new school. This is a hard thing for me to handle. Education has always come easy for me. However, with all my degrees and experience, not being able to figure out how best to help my son learn is very much a crisis for me and has been for some time.

My daughter is nine-months and she weighs 11 pounds. I have taken her to CHOP, supposedly the best in the area, and her liver and kidney are fine. However three months later, she has lost an ounce. She will start at a Grow Clinic at St. Christopher’s Hospital this month.

I have been praying a lot these past months and I am so grateful that my children are here with me each new day. I trust that with God’s help, we will figure out how to overcome our health issues soon.

This weekend however I learned that a dear couple friend lost their child to SIDS. I have since sent them my love and prayers but I can’t help feeling like I should have stopped to pray for all the babies in my life recently, to pray for the health of all children.

I became an educator years before the birth of my oldest child. Teaching children has inspired me to think broadly about family and my door is pretty wide open. My mom is another important model for this. I joke that there was always someone else at my house for Thanksgiving. I have a whole “Play” family. Play cousins, uncles, aunts, etc. that adopted my family when my parents moved as a young couple with kids into my hometown.

I thank God for all my extended family. I pray that this new year brings good health to everyone. I encourage others to think broadly about family and to protect children in service somehow as well as with prayer.

Tanji is a wife and mother of three. She has two boys and one girl. She lives in Philadelphia, her favorite chocolate city. She is an educator and her first “baby” is now a Howard University graduate and a Cocoa Mama.

6 thoughts on “I Forgot To Pray For Good Health For All Babies

  1. Tanji,
    I’ve said a prayer for your children and all of our children. In another group I’m in, I wished for the health and well-being of all of our children. I know TOO many people whose children are dealing with various health issues and it just kills me to see children suffer.

    So, I echo your prayer, for all of our children.



  2. I remember when my son was admitted to CHOP as a 13-month-old with a blood disorder, I prayed and prayed for him to get better and he did. But I always wondered what would have happened had I not prayed, and the title of your post reminded me of that. I forget to pray about a lot of things, the health of my children and all children being one of them. We take it for granted, but it’s one of those things that we really shouldn’t. And thank you for also bringing up your son’s learning disability – that must be very difficult for him, and we often underestimate how hard it is for children to deal with disabilities of any kind.

    So I’m praying for you too, and for all children.



  3. Tanji, I love your last sentence: “I encourage others to think broadly about family and to protect children in service somehow as well as with prayer.” I absolutely do, and will always.


  4. Tanji,

    I was struck by your realization that “all of your degrees and experience” have still left you unable to determine how best to help your children. The (sometimes unspoken) assumption is that elite education and experience will either insulate us from these issues, or at least give us the social capital to navigate them better than most. The former has not been your experience, but has the latter rung true at all?



    1. Dear ORJ,

      I think that what my education has demonstrated to me most, as it pertains to this situation, is that individuals are educated/professionalized into a particular field with a specialized knowledge. Because I know well from my profession the traditions of misdiagnosis and stigmatization of marginalized groups, including all of the defenseless, particularly children, I am even more careful to reserve my opinion, and defer to the professional assessment of others.

      Do I have the social capital to navigate resources for my children? I have some clear advantages. How well is my social capital usurped by people’s perception of my race, class and gender, are also relevant questions.



  5. It seems like even when you are highly educated, when you come up against something that you know nothing about, what you look like and how you are perceived still plays against you and that education only gets you so far. I’ve found with my various physical and mental health diagnosis that even having a lot of degrees and education gets me nowhere when doctors assume that I’m a narcotic seeking drug addict and don’t want to give me the drugs I need to cope with my chronic pain. I see it in their eyes, and obviously notice it when my pain isn’t taken seriously.

    The data is still clear on these things – despite class mobility, especially in health care, black and brown people still receive substandard care. And it’s hard to know what to do about it – like I can’t treat myself, but I’ve thought that maybe I need to go to medical school to figure it out! I assume it must be the same for Tanji, you trying to understand what’s going on with your son, but you are not someone with the expertise in this particular field, so there is only so far you can go. The degrees take you so far but then the blackness, the youth, the femaleness – it all hits a wall.


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