I still feel raw and tender after last Friday’s horrific school shooting in Newtown, CT. It’s not okay. How will it ever be okay again? And the only thing I lost was a sense that my kids are safe at school.
Those kids. Those babies. Those teachers, heroes, police officers, parents.
It’s really too much to bear, isn’t it?
My children are 5 1/2 and 7 years old. I don’t want to let my mind go there, but away it goes. I can’t stop the thoughts and the terror. I can’t stop imagining.
This rock-you-to-the-core tragedy has made me hold my babies tighter. It shouldn’t take a tragedy to force me to realize that I should savor every moment of their precious lives.
Our family has had a great year, a really great year. Carson and Ella are kids suffering from the typical ups and downs of growing up, they have made me want to pull my hair out and scream and they have made me so proud. These moments with them are what life is supposed to be. Between Ella’s freak out sessions nearly every morning over what jacket and boots to wear, Carson’s sass that rivals any 14-year-old, ear infections, flu, lost Wii time, and dinnertime battles, there are big things and little things that I can look back on this past year and celebrate.
I love this age, this perfect early elementary school age where they have actual conversations about there life that is separate from our life at home. They are learning to read and they still believe in Santa, but they are also beginning to reason. I love their emerging independence, but I love that they still need me.
Carson has discovered geometry. Three-dimensional shapes have captured his imagination, as he could sit for hours drawing spheres, cones, and pyramids.
Ella started Kindergarten this year. To be honest, I was worried about how she would handle the rigors of Kindergarten, this girl who would still nap if there was enough time in the day, but she’s having a great year. Her teacher says she’s right where she needs to be, reading words, writing sentences, and studying geometry like Carson.
Getting Mae, our WILD puppy has shown me a whole new side to Carson and Ella. They have shown me a side of themselves that is so caring and responsible, helping to feed her and let her outside. We’ve all had to learn a lot (A LOT!!) of patience, but I think adding Mae to our family has added something only a new family member can add.
One of the highlights of this year was taking Carson and Ella to Destin last October. Everything about the trip was great, the weather, the food, the good company, the condo, the Gulf’s sun and surf….EVERYTHING. The best part was watching Carson and Ella play for hours together along the shore, building things out of sand, chasing each other, and laughing–there was so much laughing! If I could have bottled up the trip, I would have. The only thing missing from our trip was Tate, it was too bad he had to miss out on all the fun.
We spent our summer on the lake, swimming until we were ravenous for lake sandwiches. I lost count of the number of bottles of sunscreen we used, but it was somewhere in the range of five to A BUNCH. Noodles and life jackets were our must-have accessories for the summer.
It only took FOREVER, but Carson and Ella went to their first St. Louis Cardinals game at Busch Stadium. We bought overpriced souvenirs and ate hot dogs and Cracker Jacks. It was perfect, well, except for the fact that the Cardinals lost.
Carson and Ella have FINALLY begun to learn the art of sleeping in. We’ve had a year of Friday night movie nights and wrestling matches. Our backyard became a campground during the summer and fall, where we made s’mores and slept under the stars.
The thing from this year that I’ll most hold onto, though, is that Carson and Ella both reach out to hold my hand after school. As we walk back to our car after school, they don’t hesitate or worry what their friends will think if they’re caught holding my hand. Any day now they could decide that they’re too cool or grown up to hold my hand, so each day I get hold their hands is a gift.
Every day with them is a gift.
Every day with them is good.
Thanks so much to Hallmark for inviting me to be a part of their Life is a Special Occasion campaign this past year. I’m so honored that I was chosen to share my stories as a Hallmark ambassador in 2012. While I am compensated for my work, all stories are original and true.
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