|our precious five, courtesy of Libby Portraits|
I know that I am not the only parent to whom my children seem infinitely more precious this week.
Little did I know as I penned my previous post, that the stresses we were/are facing would seem so insignificant in a matter of just a few hours. Along with the rest of the nation, our world was rocked on Friday, December 14 by news of the senseless and horrific school shooting in Connecticut. We watched with shock and tears as details began to emerge about the loss of twenty children's lives and those of six adults. Our hearts continue to break as we read the words of bereaved parents, describing their precious sons and daughters who never came home from school that devastating day.
One family wrote that their seven year old son "earned his ripped jeans and missing two front teeth." I thought of my son Owen, born the same year and also currently missing front teeth and wearing out his jeans at record speed. I wept at the reality of these parents' incredible loss, multiplied by the loss of so many others.
The thought came to me that I do not want to wait until tragedy strikes and an obituary is being written to recall what makes each of my children special. I want them to know, today, how much I love them and appreciate their uniqueness.
Eva ... I love your tender, thankful heart. I love that though you have grown incredibly much and are wearing size 10 sneakers at eleven years' old, you still enjoy life with a child's innocence and enthusiasm. I especially love that you verbalize your appreciation that God has made us a family. I love your creativity, from making up new songs on the piano to patiently putting together Lego scenes. I love how you can go into "high D" mode when you are super excited about a special event, like our early Christmas celebration with Mom-Mom and Pop-Pop. I love how you give Daddy and me kisses and play with your little brothers and think they are "so cute!" on the best of days. And when you and Isabel are getting along, I love hearing you whisper to one another in the dark at bedtime and I imagine you as the best of grown-up friends one day. Most of all, I just love you!Isabel ...I love your compassion. I love how you care deeply for the hurting and how you dream of being a medical missionary to Haiti someday. I love when you surprise me with a hug and a kiss on the cheek, or an unexpected note on my pillow. I love seeing your enjoyment of music, singing along to our favorite cd's and organizing impromtu dance parties for your younger brothers and cousins. I love watching you blossom as a young lady, thrilled with lip gloss and earrings and learning to create pretty outfits that make you shine. I love your spunk and laughter. Most of all, I just love you!Owen ... I love your hugs so much. I love your energy and enthusiasm. I love your predictability, how every night you will first ask Mommy to come again and say goodnight and then ask for Daddy to come and do the same. I love how this year you have become Daddy's sidekick American football fanatic. I love your missing front teeth and your new favorite trick of trying to hide and scare us all whenever possible. I especially love when you are the ringleader of our little boys' trio and you and your brothers rush hither and fro in a state of wild-eyed, happy imagination together. I love when you talk oh-so-seriously of college and all the sports you plan to play there. Most of all, I just love you!Ian ... I love how handsome you look in your new glasses. I love how lately you say, "Mommy, kisses!" and want to give me a kiss, just because. I love your happy spirit. I love your alertness and how you always seem to find your way right into the midst of the fray. I especially love your beautiful coloring these days, how you use so many shades of colors and draw the most adorable alien-looking people with giant heads and skinny little legs. My favorite is the one you drew of me with long red hair. Most of all, I just love you!Alec ... I love your winsome smile and that cheeky look in your eyes, even when it sometimes get you into trouble. I love listening to you speak so clearly and surprise me with such insightful commentary these days. I love how you are excited to learn Spanish when we return to Chile. I love how you find a way to be your own person, even as the youngest of five. I even love when you stutter, "Mommy, Mommy, Mommy" or "umm, umm, umm" just to garner a little extra attention for whatever you want to say next. Most of all, I just love you!