Today I pulled into my driveway, parked in my garage, walked into my kitchen and into the arms of my son. This is what we do almost everyday, when he’s not completely engrossed in a game or tv show. Tonight, he and his dad were making dinner and it smelled delicious.
We fixed our plates and then did something else we do almost every night, we sat down around our coffee table, in front of the tv. As we ate and chatted about our days, we watched “Master Chef Junior”. Two nine-year-old girls were battling it out to see who would be the ultimate Jr. Chef and take home the coveted trophy and a check for $100,000. A commercial break showed a dad swinging his daughter around in a circle in their front yard, as soon as he set her feet on the ground she begged to go again.
As I sat there in my living room, next to my smiling, happy, healthy son, watching these nine-year-old wizard chefs and listened to the little girl giggle and beg to be swung again, I couldn’t help but feel so amazingly blessed and a little bit overwhelmed.
On my drive home I had been listening to a news report about women who had been killed during a peaceful protest. I forget what country, I’m not even sure what the protest was about, my attention was focused on the heartbreaking story of one woman who testified that she had been at the market that day with her five-year-old son, when someone threw an RPG into the crowd. She, herself, was riddled with shrapnel but still she frantically looked around for her son and found him laying on the ground. All he said was, “momma” and then died.
The picture above is of my son, when he was five. It was his very first day of school. I remember it vividly. His happy chatter as he finally woke up and became excited about what this new adventure might bring. When I finally got him to sit down on the steps for me to take a photo, I had to be quick because sitting still and being quiet were not his thing. (Something we would be reminded of at every parent-teacher conference from that point on.)
I simply cannot fathom what that mother, and so many others, must be going through. My mind cannot comprehend how human beings can be so incredibly cruel to one another. And I feel ashamed at my own mindless complaining of the trivial inconveniences of my daily life. We have a comfortable, happy home, no shortage of food to eat and live relatively safe lives. Simple basics that so many in this world will never have. Yet, just the other day I recall being exasperated as my son yelled, “mom” from his room for what seemed like the millionth time.
I hope this woman’s tragedy serves as a constant reminder to me to cherish every-single-second that I have with my children and to smile and say a prayer every time I’m blessed by the sound of their voice calling me “mom”.