I have started and stopped the writing of my post more times than I care to admit. Each idea reflective of what is going on in the lives of my family members – the challenges of transitioning to summer camp, finally getting rid of our daughter’s pacifier, bad dreams. While these are real things we are struggling with, they seem inconsequential at this moment in time because, as I write this, our friends are burying their two and a half year old son.
For the last week, I have found myself choking back tears every time I look at my three year old daughter. How many times have I fussed at her for something as meaningless as not finishing her sandwich? How often have I rushed her at the park because I was tired of pushing her on the swing? How many times have I become frustrated at her constantly asking me “why?”
For the last week, I have found myself choking back tears every time I look at my seven month old son. Why do I complain when he wakes in the middle of the night? Why do I worry about how his progress compares to the children of my friends? Why don’t I push away distractions when I am spending time with him?
I do these things because they are normal frustrations, fears, anxieties, and worries. I fall into the routine of my every day life and allow these small things to get the best of me. It is only when I am reminded how precious and fleeting life can be that I see how much time I waste and just how much I take for granted.
I have no words of wisdom to offer our friends. I have no way to bring them peace other than to let them know they are loved. I have no way of bringing them the joy they once, only days ago, knew. All I can do is promise them that I will live my life better because, in his two and a half short years, their son has taught me more than I have learned in a lifetime.
I will push my daughter on the swing until the sun goes down. I will respond to every question she has until I no longer have the answers. I will find joy in the sound of my son’s voice no matter the time of night. I will gaze into his eyes, and not off into space, each and every time I hold him.
I will hold my children tighter and kiss them more often and tell them a million times that I love them.