The kids are still sleeping. It is Saturday morning after all. My husband’s gone on his last business trip of the year. The house is quiet and dark except for the twinkling Christmas tree lights that I like to turn on and see in the mornings. Things are in disarray, after all we did just get through a week of school and work and living life and today is the day to pick up and clean. Right now all I can do is think about how I want to make my kids feel special when they wake up this morning. Actually, I’m hoping they sleep in a bit. They’ve had big weeks in school with all the tests/quizzes/concerts/programs and make-up assignments. It’s been an exhausting week for us all, so I want them to get rest because the busyness will start and then there’s no telling what the moods and feelings will turn out like. Right now I know they are safe and warm and comfortable in their beds and I’d like to enjoy that for just a bit.
Yesterday, moms and dads of 20 itty bitty kids woke up thinking, “We’ve made it to Friday. Just get through this day of school and then it’s the weekend.” I’m sure they had weekends full of activity planned with Christmas less than 2 weeks away. I’m sure they thought of all the last minute Christmas shopping, baking, programs and errands they needed to get to and finish and felt a bit overwhelmed and out of breath with the madness of the season. In the craziness of a Friday morning rush to school and work, they might have kissed their children’s heads or hugged their necks and said, “see you later,” as they went out the door. I’m sure they never imagined what would happen. I can’t imagine. I simply just can’t.
My kids walked in from school yesterday and I realized I had subconsciously been holding my breath. I held them and blinked back tears…some I couldn’t hold back and came tumbling out anyway. We watched the news together last night, we prayed together for families of lost little ones and teachers and administrators, but all we could do was sit numbly and watch the news unfold in front of us. Seasoned news people crying openly. The President wiping away tears as he tried to speak. How could such innocence be wiped out so dismissively?
It took my mind quite a bit of time to settle down before bed, but even in that I’m pretty sure I saw images of parents and children in my sleep. I woke up with the heart pounding realization that my family is well and whole, but also that there are mothers and fathers who woke up yesterday morning and never went back to sleep last night because of the horror of their day. God, be with them. God, grant them peace. God, please bring comfort. God, oh God, oh God be their hope.
When my kids wake up, they’ll come down and find me in the kitchen. They’ll come and kiss me and I’ll hug them back. I’ll ask them how they slept and make them breakfast and we’ll talk about the day ahead. Our Saturday will start and we’ll have our moments of laughter and frustration and fatigue but I know that each of us is dealing with what happened yesterday in our own way. I know that today we are all more grateful for another moment with each other to say. To be able to look into each others eyes and say “I love you and I’m thankful for you.” At this point in life, I realize we have just this moment…the one in front of us, so I want it to be a good one because the next one isn’t guaranteed.
Baby, you know we’re living in stolen moments
You steal enough it feels like we’re stopping time
These days are gold we’re living in stolen moments
Just grab a hold and feel your way
These days are yours and mine- Lyrics by John Hiatt