Have you ever lived a perfect day? Probably not. But do you remember a day that was perfect for you? Was it because the day was focused on a single event like your wedding and the day was perfect because the event happened? Or was the perfect day for you a result of all the little things going well? Did all the little things add up and result in a perfect day for you?

Have you ever considered all the things that make up a single day of care for a child?

It begins at midnight while the child is asleep. Does anything interrupt the child’s sleep? Is the mattress comfortable and the pillow soft? Is the air clean and fresh? Is the room temperature correct? Is the bedroom safe?

Then morning comes. How is the child awakened? With a soft, “good morning”, or a harsh, “TIME TO GET UP”? Is the first face the child sees smiling? Does the child have all the personal care items he or she needs/wants to prepare for the day? Are the towels and wash clothes soft? Is breakfast delicious and warm and healthy? You get the idea.

Nearly everything a child experiences while in our care is in our control. We want all those little things to add up each day so that the result is a perfect day for each child.

Will it happen every day? No. It’s not likely because we all live in an imperfect world. Each child has her or his own unique tastes, desires and preferences. And in the larger context, one consequence of childhood trauma is that it can be difficult for a child to appreciate or properly evaluate something in the present.

Still, I plan to talk a lot this year about how we can strive for “Perfect Days of Care” at Louisiana Methodist Children’s Home in Ruston, Methodist Home for Children of Greater New Orleans in Mandeville, Methodist Children’s Home of Southwest Louisiana in Sulphur and in our Transitional Living Program in Monroe.

Of course perfection is an impossible standard. It is, however, a worthy goal. In every area of life the pursuit of perfection is the antidote to mediocrity. Everything we do toward providing perfect days of care makes what we do for children and their families that much better.

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