Friday was a tough day for all of us. The Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy hit home with everyone due to the young children targeted. Because I work in a school and honestly, because I grew up in the same metro-area as Columbine, situations like this are never far from my mind. I'm constantly playing out in my head how best to lock-down my libraries, etc.
The truth is, if the moment ever comes who knows what will happen. And that, has been on my heart today. So I wrote a letter to my children in case I don't come home one day.
Forgive the length. When you're writing as if you are no longer on this earth there are a lot of things to say.
To my children:
I pray that if you are reading this it’s because I have handed it to you myself, but if I haven’t I can only assume I’m no longer here to do so. There have been more and more tragic situations in the news and while I have no reservations about leaving this earth myself, I do lament the thought of leaving my children without a mother.
Please know that whatever circumstances led to my leaving you, that I love you with all of my heart. You are my beautiful babies and I stand amazed at you every single day.
Nathan (or Nate as you demand to be called these days … you’re 3 as I write this), you made me a mommy. From the moment you were born I’ve been in awe of the creation of life. For you to not exist on this earth and then suddenly be there, well I’m still dumbfounded by it today.
There have been moments that I have failed as a mommy to you. Moments when I yelled at you, or spanked you when I shouldn’t have. Moments when I myself have had a temper tantrum worthy of a 3 year old (Word of advice, the terrible two’s are a myth. Three is when kids break lose. Just a tip for when you have kids) and afterword wonder why God let me be your mommy.
I pray that you don’t remember those times, or if you do, that they are overshadowed by the good. The times when we played superheroes or cuddled up and read books and watched movies together. The times of hugs and kisses. The times I comforted your boo-boos.
My son, at the moment you are still new. Still innocent to the horrors of the world and I hope you stay that way as long as possible. One day that will end, you will grow to be a young man and I pray that you are a Godly man. One made after His own heart. Not perfect – remember not to beat yourself up if you are not. But strive to be kind hearted, loving. A good husband and father to your wife as well as a good son and brother to your Dad and sister. Love them and remember that family never abandons each other. (Yikes! You just pow-pow’d me! )
Now to my beautiful daughter. Madelyn Claire. Wow. My love you are only three months old and are peacefully napping next to me. In three short months you have shown me that not only was I NOT meant to have only boys, but I would have never been whole without a boy and a girl. You have my heart little one, in a way I never thought a little girl could. You are a part of me. I can’t wait to share my love of theatre, horses, and all things girl with you. If you hate all things girl…well more power to you and we’ll just play superhero with your brother.
One day I will mess up with you just as I have with Nathan. I will have yelled too much, lost my temper and just flat-out screwed up. I wish you the same that I wish for Nathan. I pray you remember the wonderful times. While I don’t know what those will entail I know they’ll be amazing.
Now I just relish in the fleeting moments of your babyhood. Your squishy little newborn self. Your smiles and someday soon your sweet giggles. I’m so excited to see who you become, what your personality will be like. Although it scares the crud out of me I hope to see the day we have our first fight as mom and daughter because that means we’re alive and together. You will, as your brother will, lose your sweet baby innocence one day and become a woman. You will be beautiful. Strong, independent, loving and a woman of God. You are Madelyn Claire S-----------.
To you both, know that I don’t expect either of you to be perfect angels. I do pray though that you follow Jesus the best you can and love Him and others with all your heart. Also, know that I am so sorry I’m not here. I’m sorry if I miss the important times in your lives. Know that it breaks my heart to even think of not being at a first day of school, a graduation, wedding or birth of a grandchild. But know that I am waiting for you in Heaven and am looking forward to seeing you again one day. Don’t rush though!
If I have other children and fail to update this letter know that although I do not yet know you, everything I have said to your brother and sister apply to you as well. God has given parents an amazing gift of love in children. Our capacity to love swells with each child to a point that I never could have imagined. You are loved, you are amazing. I can’t wait to know you.
With all my love,