I wrote this a few weeks ago and finally getting around to publishing it. My reaction to the Newton shooting was like many moms and the nation. I was in shock and my heart hurt. I wrapped my arms around my kid and thanked God for allowing me to hold them. I can say if anything, it made the world stop around me and I left the dishes in the sink and let the laundry go. I think too it opened my eyes to the world we live in and the scary things in this world. As a mom, there are a lot of scary things in the world and it's the hardest thing as a mom to know you can't protect your kids from it all. I do my best to show my kids the beauty in the world and shield them from the scary stuff but I know the time that I can do that is fleeting. I can't imagine the pain that these families are going through and the ones who lived through it will face. I can hope we can make this world a better place for our kids and I will do what I can to fight for it. I just wish that was a simple task but I can tell you one thing, I will do what I can to make it that way but until I can control that other stuff, I will love each day more. I think that if anything, we can honor those sweet kids by playing more and being more present in each day.
To my sweet boys.
Today, you are both small, though Brady, you always tell me you are big. Sometimes, you will say you're a big boy baby when you want more of that attention Benny seems to steal from you but in this big world, you are both so very small.
So very naive.
So very innocent.
The past few nights, I let you (Brady) fall asleep in my bed and I've carried you to your room. I literally stopped in my tracks. You're grown so big and my arms can no longer wrap around you completely. I look down at Bennett sleeping peacefully and remember how tiny you used to be and wonder when he stopped being a tiny newborn. I flashed back to the times when I rocked you and held you closely like I do now with Bennett. I sat down with you and just held you closely while you were sleeping peacefully and took in your sweet scent.
I prayed. I prayed for 20 babies and 6 heroes and a mom who I'm sure loved her son as I do you boys. I prayed for peace. I prayed for you to just let me hold you just a bit longer and for time to slow down just a bit more.
You see, there are times when life in this big world is hard. You'll learn as you grow older that there are scary things in this world besides those monsters and ghosts you find yourself afraid of. (They are always green, you say) You'll learn that sadness is more than not getting that new toy you wanted so badly while we were at the 'little store' (Target.) You'll learn that people can hurt your heart and that you can hurt in ways you never knew possible.
In that same respect, my sweet boys, I want you to always remember that there is SO much beauty. So much love. So much joy and happiness. The world is full of so many good things.
When things get scary or you need some comfort, remember that. Remember that it's everywhere.
It's in the small things and lives in the hearts of children and in the souls of their parents. It's in your laughter and in your smile. It's in the photographs we keep and in the people we meet. The beauty of the sky and the serenity of flowing waves. Sometimes, you have to weather the storm to find that rainbow. As cliche as it sounds, it's more than true.
I'll be honest, I want to shield you from all the 'bad' stuff forever and keep you in a bubble of trains, cars, cookies and milk. I wish we could keep the innocence you carry so beautifully. I wish I could wrap you in a bubble to keep you from getting hurt and keep your body healthy for eternity.
I've always heard before you were born that when you become a parent, you wear your heart on your sleeve. Truth is, your heart does more than that. It walks, talks and every single day you worry about it. You love more with it than every thought possible and it makes me want to hold you tight and never let you go. I want to keep you safe in my arms and keep you small enough to protect from all the evils of the world. Truth is, I can't do that and I'll be honest, that scares me so much but I can't focus on what we can't do.
What I can do is love each moment.
Always say, 'I love you!'
I can show you how important it is to treat others kindly, without judgement.
I can show you to be thankful for what we have and to work hard for what you want.
I can show you that family always comes first and has varying definitions.
I can show you that life isn't about what we have, it's about who we have with us.
I can work hard to teach you that life is a gift and to appreciate the small things in life.
That it's okay to cry and to be affectionate to those you love.