When my babies are grown, and they talk about their childhood, what will they remember? What do I WANT them to remember? Do I want them to remember a clean house? Nice meals every night? Clean clothes? Fun outings? Reading books together? Playing together? I want them to remember all of those things, but with varying emphasis. I don't want the house to be a pigsty, but I don't want them to remember Mommy as being too busy cleaning to play. Nice meals are all well and good, but I don't want them thinking back on those and wishing I'd stopped and read a book with them. Max and Jack will, eventually I hope, be even slightly appreciative of clean laundry, but not at the expense of taking a walk outside together.
Through a roundabout way I found the story of Layla Grace the other day. She is just over 2 years old, and in what appear to be the final stages of stage 4 Neuroblastoma. As I write this, her mom recently Tweeted that Layla is having a harder and harder time breathing. The page that I linked to at the start of this paragraph is the first post I'd ever read about Layla. Her mother talks about regretting complaining about having a toddler underfoot, and wishes Layla WAS up and running around like a "normal" 2 year old. (I may have paraphrased, forgive me.) While reading this post I got seriously convicted. Now, I had thought of all this stuff in the past, but for some reason it really hit home this time. How often am I more concerned about getting "Stuff" done than I am about playing with and loving on my babies? How often do I get frustrated at Max for doing normal toddler things that are simply creating a bit more work for me? How many times have I gotten short with her because of my own selfish desires to do what I want to be doing??
In fact, right before reading that very post, I had snapped at Max for something stupid and small. It was my pure selfishness, and she hadn't done anything really wrong.
Having "met" Layla and read her story, I now am striving to cherish my babies more, spend more time with them, and less time worrying about the stuff that doesn't really matter anyway, and that they won't care about in the long run. I don't know why God is allowing Layla and her family to endure this pain and heartbreak, but I do know that Layla and her family have touched more lives, mine included, then they will ever know.
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