In lieu of the recent tragedies at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, I felt the urge to take a moment to remind myself, and hopefully all of us, what we have. It’s easy to take for granted the things we have when they feel like an inconvenience, when in reality, we would do anything to experience them again if we ever lost them.
I have runny noses to clean on an almost daily basis in the winter months. I have snot to clean off myself as well on a regular basis. At times, it gets really nasty and I have to fight my gag reflex. Today, I cleaned off dried boogers and was grateful, yes grateful, that I had a little nose to clean. A little nose that some mothers will never see again.
I have dirty diapers to clean multiple times a day. Now that Emma is eating mostly solids, the poop just keeps coming. Some days they’re not too bad, but other days they smell to high heavens and get all over everything. I can’t tell you the times that I have had to wash everything after an attempt to make a clean change. Today, I will clean diapers and be glad, yes glad, that I have poopy diapers to clean. Poopy diapers that some fathers will never see again.
I have a child who fights sleep. Emma gets so sad at the thought of bedtime that if we get her to go to sleep anytime before she’s completely worn out, it’s a battle. Sometimes at 10pm she’s not tired enough to go to sleep but I know best and rock her anyways. I am usually frustrated with all the things I need to do and just pray that she goes to sleep soon so I can get the work done. Tonight, I will be thankful, yes thankful, to rock her for hours if that’s what it takes to put her to sleep. Endless rocking that some grandmothers will never be able to do again.
I have an independent child by nature who thinks she knows how to do things on her own and also know what’s best, even when I’m quite certain that sticking a pencil in an outlet is NOT best. We have some pretty rough days where we have to get her away from things and tell her “no” at least 20 times in a 5 minute period. Some days it seems like too much to bear. This week, I will be appreciative, yes appreciative, for the fun and excitement that an independent child brings to the table. An independence that some grandfathers will never see again.
I have a CHILD. I have a DAUGHTER. I have everything that some parents are now living without. I have the opportunity to watch her grow every day, to hear her call my name, to give me kisses goodnight, to wipe boogers on my shirt, to smile and laugh with every morning, to give baths, to spend time with, to consume every spare second of my life. And I am grateful. I am glad. I am thankful. I am appreciative. In a moment’s notice, I could lose it all and nothing makes that more true in my sight than the twenty innocent lives lost this past Friday.
I encourage us all to hold our children a little tighter, love them a little stronger, and pray for them without ceasing. To the parents, sisters, brothers, grandparents, and more who lost loved ones this past week- we will not let your children die in vain. We will cling tight to their memories and love our children more than we ever have before because you’re children deserve nothing less than the best we can give to ours.
Our thoughts and prayers are with each of you. May God comfort you during your tragic loss in only a way that He can.
Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:28-29
But Jesus said, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children.” Matthew 19:14