As the weekend progressed, we did all the things we had already planned to do. Charlie had his hair cut and formed into spikes. We attended an annual Christmas party. We opened presents, ate food, and hugged loved ones.
On Sunday, we readied ourselves for a house showing and dressed the boys for church – Charlie’s first Christmas performance. And as the service started, the little ones started walking in. Onto the stage, Charlie was placed in the center – in a crossroads between the little classes and the big kids. My eyes welled with tears as my heart was squeezed with the emotion of the moment.
As I gazed upon the stage and watched him in this literal between stage, I thought of how quickly the past four years had gone and how life seems to be passing us by. I thought of all the moments from when he was a baby and an early toddler and just how quickly he went from saying, “Mama!” to telling me how I distressed him just last week in the car.
But mostly, I thought of all the moments I somehow still get to have with my son that other moms and dads some states away don’t get this Season. For all the little things, like a two minute Christmas song with hand motions, spiky hair, and awkward smiles. For the Christmas decorations that sit in a home not ready to be Joyful. For the presents that may already have been waiting in a closet for a child that won’t be there to open them.
And my heart just weeps.
I tell friends often – parenthood is the most beautiful, exasperating thing I’ve ever done. And for the life of me, I cannot imagine my life without them. I cannot imagine getting that unimaginable call or storming the school looking for answers. I cannot bring myself to that place.
For those parents, I cannot imagine.
But please know that as mothers and fathers, we weep with you because we understand just what a beautiful treasure you have lost.
He is getting so big! He makes me laugh when he tells me that Jack is a “maniac” when he is running around nonstop. I still can’t believe that the baby in the post card that I have for my birthday 4 years ago is the boy that is in those preschool pictures! Aunt Sarah loves you, Charlie and Jack!
I am so right there with you Sam. I literally can not stop myself from crying multiple times a day. Just as you said, I cannot imagine. Typing that just made me tear up. Another parent at school said to me today, “Wow this is really affecting you” and without thinking and kind of rudely (I couldn’t help it), I blurted out “Well yeah, why ISN”T it affecting you as much?” And she said, “Well we’re safer now than ever” and I was dumbfounded. I just said, “Twenty mothers no longer have their babies. The whole world should be affected as much I am” and walked. away. Rude, I know, but I couldn’t believe how callous she was being.
So yeah. I totally am just rambling. But I know EXACTLY what you are feeling and on a lighter note OMG is Charlie adorable on that stage. He really is such a little miracle. Jack too.