To My Child…..A beautiful (and borrowed) message

This week has been a particularly crazy one for me as a mother. It’s times like this week that I feel as if I didn’t have enough time, energy, and presence to be what everyone needed me to be and to get everything completed. Let’s just say the week included the Sheriff’s Office unlocking my car at a patient’s house so I could get my keys and a mad run in the rain in my PJ’s and husband’s shoes to catch the bus with my 6 year old. Just a glimpse. It wasn’t a smooth week. Something caught my eye this morning that helped re-center my thoughts to where they should be, and I wanted to share.

A few years ago, a friend of ours lost their young child suddenly. It was heart -wrenching for the family and the large community that supported them and loved their child. It was the first time that as parents we had to explain a child’s death to our own children.  Following the services, this resilient mother, sent thank you cards and with them, she sent a note with the message below along with her radiant child’s picture.
One of my organizational goals is to  to keep my refrigerator uncluttered (I just love to hang on to baby announcements and masterpieces!) but I keep his photograph and this note on the corner of my refrigerator. On a regular basis, I read it to myself, or it catches my eye, and just the vision of it reminds me where I need to be mentally. Even though life moves quickly and we don’t see this beautiful mother or her family regularly, her sentiments and strength are a continual gift to me, and I wanted to share with you…. 

To my child…
Just for this morning, I am going to smile when I see your face and laugh when I feel like crying.
Just for this morning, I will let you choose what you want to wear, and smile and say how perfect it is.
Just for this morning, I am going to step over the laundry, and pick you up and take you to the park to play.
Just for this morning, I will leave the dishes in the sink, and let you teach me how to put that puzzle of yours together.
Just for this afternoon, I will unplug the telephone and keep the computer off, and sit with you in the back yard and blow bubbles.
Just for this afternoon, I won’t worry about what you are going to be when you grow up, or second guess every decision I have made when you are concerned.
Just for this afternoon, I will let you help me bake cookies, and won’t stand over you trying to fix them.
Just for this afternoon, I will take you to McDonald’s and buy us both a Happy Meal so you can have both toys.
Just for this evening, I will hold you in my arms and tell you a story about how you were born and how much I love you.
Just for this evening, I will let you splash in the tub and not get angry.
Just for this evening, I will let you stay up late while we sit on the porch and count all the stars.
Just for this evening, I will snuggle beside you for hours and miss my favorite TV shows.
Just for this evening when I rub my fingers through your hair as you pray, I will simply be grateful that God has given me the greatest gift ever.
I will think about the parents who are searching for their missing children, the parents who are visiting their children’s graves instead of their bedrooms, and the parents who are in hospital rooms watching their children suffer senselessly, and screaming inside that they can’t take it anymore. 
When I kiss you goodnight I will hold you a little tighter, a little longer. It is then that I will thank God for you, and ask for nothing else, except one more day….

When we were working on our new website, (Have you checked it out?, I came across this quote, “Stop trying to perfect your child, and work on perfecting your relationship with him.”  Wow! That hit me! Worrying is a natural part of parenting. Enjoying our children is a benefit. I need to enjoy my benefit more frequently and worry less often!

I’ve had a few meetings this week for work and church that are interestingly centered around the same concept: we as parents are our child’s most important teacher, regardless of what we are teaching them.  In discussion with friends, we reminded ourselves that a strong foundation through relationships with our children now helps with the challenges that may lie ahead. Sure, this all sounds “rosey” and I know first hand after a week like this one that life gets in the way, but try to think of it all in smaller steps. Waiting in line at the grocery store is a chance for a hug. Sitting while an older child is in a music lesson, is an opportunity to read a new book with a younger sibling. Dinner at the table together (even if it is cereal) is a chance for conversation about what mattered in each person’s day. We can do it.  It might not always look like a rosey perfect picture, but if our minds are intentional our children will feel our love.

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