I wrote this in the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting in December 2012. At the time, my boys were 6 and 8 years old -similar ages to the children who lost their lives on that terrible day. I know that many parents will be feeling this way now, after the tragedy in Texas. Our hearts break for the lives lost, and for the families and loved ones whose lives are forever altered.
To my dearest boys,
I was going to start this letter by telling you about the things that happened today, but it will be easy enough for you to find out if you are so inclined. Just Google today’s date – December 14, 2012 – and “Connecticut”. I am afraid that if I try to describe the events for you here, I will drown under the weight of my own sadness, and I won’t be able to tell you the stuff that you really need to know.
When you were newborn babies, I held you in my arms and promised you that I would give you the best life I possibly could. I would provide for you, support you in whatever you wanted to do and help you reach your full potential, whatever that might be. I would keep you safe and warm, and I would do everything I could to protect you from the uglier side of life.
But sometimes the uglier side of life kind of forces itself on us. People do things that are so unspeakably terrible that the effects penetrate to the deepest parts of our souls. It reminds us that sometimes we cannot protect the ones we love – sometimes we just have to do the best we can and then go on faith.
Today I feel like the luckiest mom in the world. When I got home from work today, you both came running at me, and I wrapped my arms around you and held you as close as I could. You hugged me back, kissed me on my cheek and told me you loved me. Right now, there are some parents who will never feel the warmth of their children’s hugs again.
We all spent some time romping around on my bed, telling jokes and wrestling with each other. I scolded you when you started jumping on the bed, all the while feeling immensely grateful that you are here for me to scold.
We went out to dinner, the four of us. We went to our usual restaurant, sat in our usual booth and ate the food we usually eat. We were all together – an intact, whole family. I thought of the families who have new gaps at their dinner tables and in their hearts.
As I sit here now, I am thinking about how tomorrow, I will finally get around to putting up the Christmas tree. I will be doing it with you boys, but instead of bossing you around about how to decorate the tree like I usually do, I am going to let you do it however you want.
You see, I get to decorate the Christmas tree with you. I will get to give you the Christmas presents I have bought you, unlike some families who have gifts hidden in their closets that will never be opened.
Right now as I write this, you are both in bed. You are supposed to be asleep, but one of you is trying to play with Lego quietly, and the other has a colouring book and crayons under the blankets with a flashlight. In a little while, I will go into each of your rooms and tell you to go to sleep.
While I am there, I will hug you tightly and tell you I love you.
With all my love, with all my heart, with everything I have.
Originally posted on Running For Autism on 14 December, 2012. Posted to World Moms Network by the author.
When I think of my own elementary school experience, I remember recess games and lunch time chats. I remember “round robin” reading and math fact drills. I remember class time and spelling tests, but I also remember having time to play with my friends, and that was one of the highlights of going to school. We were able to have two times a day where we had unstructured recess time to just go outside and have time to play with our friends. (more…)
The air is slowly starting to get a bit cooler and the days a bit shorter (well, maybe not in Texas…but I know it is in some parts of the world), and I know it can only mean that fall will be soon approaching. Fall approaching in the Northern Hemisphere also means school starting, schedules to follow, and the onset of after school activities.
I don’t know how it is in your part of the globe, but here in Texas, some children start playing tackle football from the time they can walk (it seems). If they aren’t playing football, then they are playing year round baseball and look like mini major league players. A few months ago, I was talking to a mom of a girl in my son’s grade and she was telling me that both her girls are in ballet two times a week, gymnastics one day a week, one takes piano and the other takes violin lessons. And the same daughter who takes violin lessons, gymnastics and ballet also has to swim four days a week at 7:30 pm at night to be able to compete on the swim team. Her daughter is only going into second grade!!! (more…)
Teaching Responsibility. Responsibility comes in many forms.
I have two girls. They provide constant blog fodder. For the most part, they are okay with that. I even run certain posts by them for approval – after all, it is their story as much as it is mine.
As a parent, we get to help write the stories of our children. The ebb and flow of day-to-day becoming the chapters of their lives through experience and exposure to the world around them.
About a year ago, I wrote a post here called Raising Responsible Citizens. Raising children who are globally aware and are understanding of the need to make a difference in the world is something that is very dear to my heart. It makes me proud to say that my girls have an awareness of the plight of others and the need to be involved. They know the positivity their actions can achieve in bringing change and that their voices can indeed be heard around the world.
This post is a chapter in that book of life on responsibility…because responsibility is a funny thing. We can teach our children about the world and its people, we can teach them laws and rights, and we start when they are just toddlers with the basics of what is right and what is wrong. But what about basic responsibility…let me clarify. (more…)
Lately, I’ve begun to think of incorporating yoga into my routine with my daughter, Bella, who just turned two. She’s always loved to watch me do it, but for a while it was frustrating to try to practice if she was awake. She’d run around, knock me over, pull my hair to get my attention, or come lay on me during a pose.
I started to do it just during her nap instead.
But the past couple months, I’ve seen her begin to take notice of things she’d never really been interested in before. So a few weeks ago, I began to do yoga with her around again.
She was smitten with the mat, loving to walk on it with her bare feet. As I encouraged her to sit next to me for the beginning stretches, she would smile and try to mimic what I did. (more…)