I know what it is like to watch your little guy, wearing a backpack that is bigger than he is, give you a toothless grin and a wave as he gets on the bus. I know what it feels like to hear him read for the first time. I know how proud I was to see his art work hanging on the wall of his elementary school. I know the courage it takes for him to give me a kiss in front of his friends. I know the secret ingredient in a peanut butter and jelly sandwich is love and I know he secretly likes the notes I sometimes leave in his lunchbox.
My mind keeps going back to last Friday when I sat in Tyler’s classroom surrounded by 20 of the cutest, funniest, energetic and innocent children. I was there to watch him sing the Torrence Creek School song with his classmates on the morning announcements. I, like several other parents, captured the performance on my iPhone. Before leaving, I hugged him and told him how proud I was of him. I left that room feeling happy, hopeful, optimistic and let’s admit it, naïve. I had no idea that our country, make that our world, was about to change.
What has changed for me? Now when I look into my sons eyes, I see six years of memories. I see the smiling 9 month old baby that learned to dribble a ball before he could walk. I see the toddler building sandcastles on the beach. I see the three-year-old “big brother” holding his sister for the first time. I see the four year-old giving me thumbs up after scoring his first soccer goal. I see the five-year old with his baseball hat over his heart listening to the “National Anthem” before playing in the T-Ball All-Star Game. I look into his eyes and I see the best of me and my husband. I look into his eyes and realize that he and his sister, Molly, are truly gifts from God, on loan to me and Todd.
I am not sure what I did to deserve such gifts. However, I will continue to love them with all my heart and appreciate them for who they are. As a result, I am going to try harder not to cry, okay yell, over spilled milk on the couch, stepping on a matchbox car in the dark with my bear feet or fetching another glass of water after everyone has been tucked into bed.
I don’t know is how it feels to be a parent in Newtown, Connecticut. But I do know what it feels like to be the mother of a six-year-old kindergartener and a two-year-old princess.
True confession of the day: This post has emotionally drained me.