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Saturday, September 15, 2012

Thoughts from my evening walk

In the evenings, after dinner is finished and toys are picked up, and while Marc takes over the bath and bedtime routine for the boys, I put Lucy in her Sleepy Wrap and we head out for a leisurely stroll. It might just be my favorite part of the day.

Since my surgery (two weeks ago), I haven't been able to take her out in the wrap, but we've still gone on shorter walks with her just in my arms. Tonight, though, I was feeling like my incisions are doing well enough that we were safe to pick up our evening routine again.

Sometimes I'll take my phone and call one of my sisters or a friend, since it's often one of the only quiet moments in my day when I'm able to carry on a decent conversation with little interruption. But, sometimes, like tonight, I crave the quiet. Time to think through things that are on my mind or weighing on my heart, time to laugh at funny things the boys did that day, time to reflect on where I'm at in my life, time to count my blessings, time to ponder and even pray.

As I start down our hill, I'm always struck by the way the late evening sun hits the East hills in our little valley - I'm sure the descriptive lyrics "purple mountains majesty" were inspired by views exactly like what I see every evening. It's breathtaking.

On some evenings Lucy is fussy and I focus all my attention on comforting her. But, tonight she fell fast asleep before we even left home. Right away I was alone with my thoughts and right away I felt how heavy they were, though it wasn't immediately clear what or why there was so much weight to them.

As I started sorting through my thoughts the only thing that became immediately clear was that it was very unclear what was causing such a heavy burden. There are the personal things - surgery recovery, sickness going through our family right now, friends experiencing struggles, medical bills to pay. Then, there are the global things - suffering, war, unrest in far corners of the earth.

While I was still making peace with my thoughts I noticed a young kid up ahead of me. Thirteen, maybe 14 years old. He sat down on some steps and started fiddling with something in his lap, looking back and forth from side to side, seeming just slightly paranoid. Then he lit his little joint and fiddled with it a little more before he looked up ahead and made eye contact with me. He quickly tried to hide it and then pulled out his phone, his attempt to cover it up, clearly hoping I hadn't seen what he was up to.

As I got closer, he looked up again at me. Big blue eyes. So young, so innocent. So fragile. I wanted to sit down and wrap my arms around him. I wanted to fill him with love and a feeling of self-worth so strong that he wouldn't have any desire to turn to destructive and dangerous things like that. I wondered about his home, his family. Where were they? Did they have any idea? Does he even have a place he can call "home"? All these questions flooded through my head in about five seconds.

As I slowly walked up the steps that he was sitting on, and the smell confirmed my assumptions, all I could think to say was, "you should really stay away from that stuff." Totally lame, I know... I hope what he really heard from my tone, though, was "you're better than this, you're worth so much more than this, you're loved and valued." I really hope he felt something in his heart.

As I finished my walk home, all of a sudden everything else on my mind seemed so small and insignificant. I hugged my little bundled baby girl and kissed the top of her head. I thought of my two young boys laying down for the night. I wondered about what things my children will face in the future. I wondered if they'd turn to other people or things that would hurt them. I wondered if I'm wrapping my arms around them enough right now to secure in them a feeling of acceptance and unconditional love.

Nothing else, whether here or abroad, matters more to me than that right now - doing everything I can to create a loving home where my children feel safe and loved. If my heart could hurt so much for this young kid that I don't even know, I'm not sure I could handle feeling the pain I'd feel for one of my own. The world is a tricky and scary place sometimes, but even with all of its tricks and traps, I feel so grateful and confident that I have heaven's help available to help get us all through it.

1 comment:

JessicaP said...

Thank you, thank you for sharing your thoughts and for sharing them so well. Your evening walks with Lucy sound beautiful. What a wonderful memory you are creating.