Last night I was juggling putting girls to bed. It is one of the things l like least. I love my girls more than anything, but I don’t like bedtime duty. I was shuffling back and forth from one room to the other. As soon as I would get out the door I would hear, “check on me!” from the little lady that had been waiting to see me appear in the hallway again.
I gave Thea a kiss and told her I loved her and she was my baby forever. I made my way to the door and her resolve was wearing because she gave me a sweet “good night Momma” and I was one kid down. I went into Leila’s room to give her the final good night of the day. Leila looked up at me from her bed and said, “I don’t really know why Mom, but I really just want you tonight.”
I don’t think there is a parent in this country who isn’t feeling a little extra sentimental, a little extra vulnerable and carrying around an extra dose of gratefulness for the beautiful children in our lives. I crawled into bed next to my big girl and held her in my arms. She asked me what I wanted for Christmas. I told her that I just wanted everyone to be healthy and happy.
She started rattling off her ever changing, but always long list of desired toys. ”Oh, you didn’t ask me yet what I wanted!” Leila exclaimed with a little giggle. I assured her that I wanted to know what her heart desired.
When I picked up Thea on Friday afternoon I couldn’t hug her long enough. Friday night was spent curled up with the girls watching the Polar Express. The kind of things that you don’t want to take for granted, but you do. Until you get a slap in the face reminding you how lucky you are.
Cory and I were walking around Costco on Friday at lunch time and I thought to myself but didn’t mention out loud…It has been a really long time since I have let myself get totally wrapped up in someone else’s tragedy and spent days obsessively worrying and crying over things I can’t control. I was feeling good about my medication, knowing that it was effectively keeping me balanced and engaged in my own life. Checking in on the news online when I returned to work turned out to be the ultimate test.
I could go on and on about the many things that have crossed my mind over the last week. Some of it debilitatingly sad…like, curl up in a ball and hope that the 21st really is the end of the world so this suffering would subside. Some of it enlighteningly faith saturated and peaceful. Most of it in between. I read all of the obituaries and accounts. I feel like the victims deserve that, they deserve to be individualized in all of our minds and remembered for the people that they are. I haven’t cried. I think that’s the drugs in action because my heart is broken, for the families left behind, for the fear that those children likely died in, for myself and every other parent that has to wonder…will we be next? For the whole country. *sigh*
I will do my best to not live in fear. To instead embrace the lighthearted joy that fuels my little girls.