Tweet There was a gaggle of boys at the pool yesterday. Ten years old, maybe eleven. Jumping all over each other, laughing, dunking heads beneath water.
I found myself watching from my chair, laughing when they laughed even though I had no idea what was so funny.
I turned toward my own son struggling his way down the length of the pool, his instructor at his side, voicing words of encouragement every few strokes. He hates the front crawl. His strongest is the elementary backstroke. He could float on his back for days. I could tell from where I sat that my boy did not want to be doing that front crawl.
The boys pulled themselves out of the water. Skin and bones dripping as they pushed and pulled each other toward the locker room.
"I wonder what Brody will be like if he gets to be that age," I thought.
I snapped aware: what do you mean if he gets to be that age? I chastised myself. What kind of mother thinks like that?
But there's a truth in that. A hard, scary truth that mothers who have lost children know without ever wanting to. There is no guarantee.
Now, before you go all thinking how morbid and awful that is and judging me thinking I haven't figured out how to effectively grieve the loss of my daughter, I invite you to look at things from a different perspective....
I have no preconceived notion of what my child is supposed to be like. Because I know that time on earth is not guaranteed, I can simply enjoy him. Every second of every day he is here amazes me.
I don't care if he plays sports or chess -- as long as I get to see him smile.
I don't care if he considered cute by the girls or a gawky dork -- as long as I get to hear him laugh.
I don't care if he excels at Math or changing carburetors -- as long as I get to listen to him tell me what he has learned.
I don't care who he asks to prom -- as long as his heart skips a beat when she enters the room.
There is a beautiful gift given to parents who have lost children.... an ability to see life for what it is: a moment to be treasured and enjoyed and poured into. Whether we get one more moment or a thousand more - each and every one is a sacred gift. We don't squander them.
Yes, I wonder what my son will be like if he gets to be ten. I do so pray the Lord grants me that. But in the event He doesn't, I'm not going to waste my time wishing my child was someone he isn't.