A complement people give me often is that this blog says what they want to say themselves. I am really very proud that I am able to piece together thoughts that people agree with whole-heartedly enough to seek me out and thank me.
However, I have a confession to make: Even after 3 blog entries about it, I hadn’t been able to pin down exactly why the Sandy Hook shooting seems to have changed me as a person. This evening I figured it out, and I figured it out because of this posting. Jennifer Rowe Walters has said for me what I haven’t been able to say for myself.
My first grade son is the exact reason why I can’t seem to shake my sadness since Friday. As Walters outlines, I know every second of magic that is a six-year-old. Six is why I get frustrated a million times a day, and it is why I laugh a million and one.
It is Talan that taught me to think about someone other than myself. He tought me that my body is capable of growing something unbelievably perfect. That being a parent is one of the hardest and coolest jobs around. That a person so tiny can hold more sweetness, humor, and wisdom that I knew was possible. He helped me understand my parents’ and God’s love for me. That little boy, just by breathing, took every little detail of my life and made it better than I ever knew it could be.
Watching him grow has been the best adventure, and six truly is fun. Walters includes details which are all astoundingly accurate, and I needed to read it to really understand the “mommy” part of my sadness. The idea of losing a child at any age is devastating, but the reality of 20 parents losing children at an age I see every day is heart-wrenching.
You see, I too often let myself get bogged down in the un-fun part of parenting. Friday, at the thought of losing what is one of the best parts of my life, I saw the value of “six.” It is why I snuggled half the night with him in the living room Friday. It is why I let him wear the dirty jeans to play in Saturday because they’re “comfy.” It is why I cried when he drew Spiderman for his Dad in church on Sunday. It is why I told him I loved him so many times before school on Monday that he looked at me and said, “Mom! I get it!” Something really terrible reminded me what I’ve got, and I don’t want to ever take this blessing for granted. I also know six, and I know what I stand to lose.