About ten days ago, the nephew of a dear friend of mine from college died in a sudden freak accident. He had just turned six years old.
I never met Avery or his parents, but I grieve with my friend his aunt, and I grieve for his family like I had known him his whole life. I think all of us who are parents, whether veterans for decades or those still wet behind the ears like the Hubs and I, can empathize with the loss of a child on a level sometimes too deep for words. After all, losing a child is every parents’ greatest fear, every parents’ worst nightmare.
Avery’s family has been on my mind a lot this week…sometimes when I offer a quiet prayer for them, sometimes when tears for their loss threaten to stream down my face.
This tragedy makes me realize the importance of truly living in the moment with my children, and genuinely being present to them in the fullest way possible. It makes me grateful that I’m a stay-at-home mom and that I have the opportunity to participate in each moment of their little lives as they grow way too fast each day.
Much too often I fall into the trap of letting the busy-ness of the day and my daily housekeeping chores and tasks get in the way being fully present to my children; of reading that story “one more time mommy” or choosing not to put down the dish I’m washing to go see the latest Matchbox car race on my now-dinged-up-beyond-recognition coffee table.
There is no guarantee my children will be with me forever…no reassurance that I’ll get to watch them score a winning goal in a ball game, graduate from high school, stand at the end of an aisle on their wedding day, or hold a child of their own for the first time.
The only guaranteed time I have with them is today. Right here. Right now.
So, I’m writing this post while my two little buddies are upstairs asleep in their rooms. When I hear them cry out, this laptop is getting turned off for the rest of the day. I’m going to put my phone on vibrate. And I’m going to read storybooks, build Megablock towers, and crawl around the living room floor with them until it’s time to start making their dinner.
Who knows what sorts of memories we’ll make today? I’m sure it’ll be fun and they’ll teach me more than I’ll teach them (as they usually do).
Let’s be sure to hug our kids today – hug them tight and hug them twice. Let’s tell them how much they are loved, by us and by their Heavenly Father. Let’s challenge them to greatness, and make sure they know how great they are, in our eyes and in His.
And Avery Jude Reyes, may you rest in peace, sweet boy with the laughing eyes.