There are two young children who received a great deal of media attention this week. The first, of course, is the baby now known as His Royal Highness Prince George of Cambridge, the son born to Prince William and his wife Kate this week in England. Needless to say, the media coverage of Prince George’s arrival was extensive, including many websites that featured around the clock live video coverage of the front door of the hospital where Prince George was born. In addition to Prince George, there was second child that received a great deal of media attention this week. His name is Patrick and he lives in Texas.
Patrick is two years old and suffers from Leukemia. Patrick’s prognosis is good, but his treatments have caused him to lose all of his hair. To express his love and his solidarity with his son, his father Jon decided to shave his head. Many of Jon’s work colleagues, also decided to do the same. It just so happens that Jon and his colleagues all have rather interesting jobs. They are all part of what is known as the “protective detail” for former President George Herbert Walker Bush.
When President Bush, now 89 years old, learned of Patrick’s illness and saw that Patrick’s father and his colleagues had all shaved their heads, he decided to do the same. The photo above captures the delight that Bush seems to be feeling in his act of compassion and support (even if Patrick doesn’t quite seem to notice). President Bush and his wife, Barbara, are no doubt feeling a special connection with Patrick and his family, given that their daughter Pauline died from Leukemia at the age of 4 in 1953.
In honor of all the attention on the royal baby this week, I invite us all to pause and remember that, in fact, every baby, every child is royal. Every child is equal in the eyes of the Creator, which means that no child is more special than any other. Patrick is no more or less important than Prince George. Every baby born this week, no matter what the situations or circumstances are, is royal.
It’s probably safe to say that none of us will ever have a personal relationship with a child born to royalty in England. Many of us though, know a child, like Patrick, who could benefit from a little extra attention and support. As with President Bush, it might be the child of someone with whom we work–or it might also be a child in our neighborhood, a child we know from church, a child in our extended family, or a child we know through our volunteer work with an organization that serves children.
My hope is that the picture of President Bush with Patrick might inspire each of us to look around in our corner of the world to find a child for whom we can do something special. Doing something special for a child know will most likely require sacrificing our hair, but it might require a sacrifice of our time, money, or energy. Judging by the look on President Bush’s face, we may find that in the efforts we make to assist a child that we actually reap as much as we sow. Perhaps, most important of all, our acts of love and service to the children in our lives will show the world that we believe that every child deserves the royal treatment.