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.