I saw something yesterday that I cannot ever unsee. It’s been etched into my mind and I can’t stop thinking about it. I cried when I saw it.
It was footage of a man somewhere in Eastern Europe where Isis members had shot his young children dead. He was crying and screaming and clutching them as their lifeless bodies just hung limp from his arms. Someone had to pull him away and lay his daughters back down onto a sheet on the ground, beside more dead children.
It made me think about my children, how lucky I am to have them, and how things can change drastically in an instant. How, no matter how safe you think you might be, anything can happen. To anyone. Anywhere. It made me feel guilty for any time I’ve ever gotten mad at my kids for doing something they shouldn’t be doing. It made me think that that man would likely give anything to hear his kids argue, to wake up to a huge mess in the morning, to find new drawings on his walls or muddy footprints on his floor.
I’m so troubled by what I saw that I can’t stop thinking about it. I wish I hadn’t seen it, which is why I’m not sharing it. It was a message about refugees, that not everyone from “over there” is bad, that many are trying to escape the madness. I have no trouble believing that.
My point here in all of this is this: as terrible and absolutely heart-wrenching as it was to watch, it inspired me to do a little writing. I’m not really one for sharing my creative pieces (yet), so bear with me… But it’s such an important topic.
Parents, Love Your Children
Parents, hug your children, and hold them near and dear. Calmly break apart their fights and wipe away their tears. Cherish all the good times, yes, but keep this in your mind: the bad is not so bad, you see, so remember to be kind.
Parents love your children, show them that you care. Tell them that you’re proud of them, and always be right there. Learn to love the mud, the spills, the cuts, the scrapes, the falls. Be thankful for the Sharpie marker drawings on the walls.
Don’t fear them growing older; help them pave their way. Teach them to be strong and loving, sensitive and brave. Don’t yell at them for being children, they’re little and they’re learning. They’ll test your patience, nerves and memory and leave you fuming.
But take a breath, a big step back, what’s in the bigger picture? Realize what you have and understand it makes you richer. Let your kids be kids, don’t be too hard on them next time. Don’t fret about the sobs, the fights the arguments and whines.
Cuz somewhere in the world right now’s a parent who is mourning, who’s tears and heavy heart will last all night and through the morning. They’ve lost the spark, the heart, the very reason for their living. How can they keep on going, breathing, loving, growing, giving?
Somewhere in the world there is a grieving mom and dad, who’d give anything to fret or worry, argue or get mad. Know that what you have is precious, never ending love. Be thankful that you have your kids, to hug and kiss and love.
Live each day like it’s your last; teach them to do the same. You don’t know what the future holds, when you might lose this game. Your children are a blessed gift, they’re innocent and pure. Do the things you can to keep them even happier.
Don’t take things for granted, don’t wish time away. Enjoy the stage they’re in right now, and let them go and play. Hold them just a little closer, breathing in their smell. Memorize their every feature, look and smile and tell.
Parents hold your children, and never let them go. Even when they’re all grown up they’re your babies, don’t you know. In a flash it can be gone, be taken all away. So parents love your children just a little more each day.
Sometimes I need to remind myself to take it easy with the kids. When all 5 of them seem to gang up on me it’s hard not to get frustrated and start yelling. But let me tell you, seeing footage like this sure does make my heart go out to the man in it, and so very thankful that I have my kids. It makes me think, how empty my life would be without any or all of them, even when they’re writing on the walls, screaming at each other, arguing, fussing and fighting. I would never ever want the last thing I say to them to be something angry or yelling. I cherish every minute I have with my children and I love them all more than words can describe. The world is a scary place, lots of scary things happen, whether it’s diseases or terrorist activity or even just accidents. So I hope this can be a reminder to all the parents out there to make sure their kids know how much they love them, every day. Yell less, laugh more. Argue less, cuddle more. Let the little things go, don’t make mountains out of molehills. Love. Be patient. Be kind.