Monday, January 21, 2008

Authentic vs Sheltering

I've been reading another mother's blog lately, tracking a woman whose preschool son has been fighting cancer. Yesterday little Julian breathed his last and was taken to be with Jesus at 4 1/2 years old. Knowing just the smallest pieces of this journey, I see how this woman's faith in God is extremely strong and has carried her through this hardest of times. She and her family have been on my mind more than usual today, for obvious reasons, and the grief I've felt for the loss of my dear friends' children felt fresh again. I've gotten teary a few times just watching my own kids throughout the day and hoping that I'm doing my best in making the most of days like this where we just spend so much time together and I can just soak in their laughter and smiles and linger in their snuggles and watch them fall asleep.

I let Lucy choose what song she wanted me to sing to her tonight before bed, and she picked the worst possible one. No, really, it couldn't have been a more perfect choice, but in my heightened emotional state, I wasn't sure I was going to make it through. The second verse says this:

Sleep, my child, and may the grace of God surround you, hold you,
Through the night, through the years,
Until the day you find rest within the arms of Jesus,
Safely in the Father's care...

As beautiful as that promise is, no parent ever wants to imagine their own child resting in the arms of Jesus. Somehow I squeaked it out without her noticing my closing throat.

I want to be genuine with my children. I want to be authentic and let them see me for who I am and know that I can be silly or sad or anything in between. But I just wasn't sure how to explain to Lucy that I was sad today about a little boy almost her age that neither of us know who was very sick and died. As important as it is for us to teach her about reality and the brevity of our lives, I feel we've had more than ample opportunity in her young life to put our friends' names and faces to this kind of tragedy, let alone someone she doesn't know. I so much more on days like this want to shelter her, to hide her from the world and its harshness, to keep her under my wing just a little bit longer.

So I tucked her in, turned down the light, and left the room before drying my eyes, praying she will sleep in peace and that tomorrow will bring many more chances to cherish my children while the Lord leaves them in my care.

1 comment:

Jess said...

I tagged you! Come and see.