Being a parent isn't always fun.
Actually, it's almost never fun.
At times, I will look at my single, childless friends and think, "Wow, just for a minute. It would be nice to have that back." My daydreams are ususally interupted by my children saying things like, "Momma! Sammy keeps putting his race car in my ear." or ,my favorite, "Mom! Sammy took his pants off again!"
To be honest, my children were bad today. They fought constantly and created a wake of messiness everywhere they went. Nothing pleased them, and they were downright grumpy. It was the sort of day that I wanted to just do over or skip entirely.
Sometimes things happen that force us to look at our lives and realize how lucky we are. Good days or bad days...children are a blessing.
So, despite the fact that my children were holy terrors today...I forced myself to be calm, and to enjoy the good moments that were few and far between. I had to remind myself constantly that even little people have bad days.
This morning, I learned of a tragic, unimaginable event that affected a family that I consider very much my own family. This tragedy left two women without husbands, children without fathers and siblings without the connecting link in their family.
There isn't a way to prepare yourself for loss like this. There isn't a course you can take or a book you can read. There isn't a training video you can watch. We live our lives operating under the notion that we are invincible. We forget how fragile life is until those around us experience loss. For those of us on the outer of edges of tragedy, it is like a wake up call.
I've also found that while it is kind to say, "I'm sorry for your loss. I'm praying for you."
The words tend to all blend together into one big pile of empathetic mush. The grieving hear you, but they don't. They appreciate the gesture, but they are numb to anything outside of their broken heart.
So, today, after learning of this accident....My children had a bad day. Normally, I would get short with them, and lose my temper, but today my mind kept drifting back to this blinding fact:
I am lucky that my children are alive. Every single day with my children, good or bad, is a blessed day. A wonderful day.
I am aware of my good fortune and my blessed life even as I type this sentence.
My son is sitting next to me...Wearing his Optimus Prime shirt and staring intently at the Transformers movie playing on the television, interrupting occasionally to say, "Oppotimus Pwe-ime! Robot truck!"
My daughter, my sweet Abby, who is the same age as the little girls who lost their lives not twenty four hours ago, is tucked tightly in her bed. Lulled into a restful sleep while I sang, "You Are My Sunshine" over and over.
Again, I cannot imagine enduring a tragedy like this and living to tell the tale. It has been proven time and time again that while life is fragile...people are not. People are strong and resilient; and most, have a capacity for love that extends beyond the physical realm of our lives.
I urge each of you, as you read this...Take a look at your surroundings. Your spouse. Your children. Your siblings. Close your eyes and think of how lucky you are, and how much love resides under your roof. Then I urge you to take those feelings of hope, love and peace and send them out...To those that need it.
Ogden family. I love you all.