Today, I took my daughter on a walk.
Before we went outside, I bundled her up against the cold December air in her blue fleece with the snowmen on it. I then put on her pink Minnie Mouse mittens, and strapped her in the stroller. She kicked her legs in anticipation, and got her usual impish look on her deliciously round face. I kissed her cheek; her skin smelled so familiarly sweet. I can smell that smell when I’m away from her.
We made our way to the park. I pushed the stroller with one hand while walking alongside of it so she could see me. She grinned, because she knew I was there. Her nose turned pink with the cold. When we got to the park, she shrieked with joy. She knew this place, this safe place.
I placed her in a swing. I pretended to fall over every time she swung forward; she laughed uncontrollably. She leaned back in the swing and peered up at the tree branches, smiling; the sun shone through the park, lighting up her electric blue eyes. Her fine brown hair blew in the wind.
(If I could tell you how aware I am of how ephemeral these moments are, you would be amazed. They are like snapshots. Here and then gone.)
That is all any of us have. Days at a time, moments.
I’m forgoing the usual body image ideas to acknowledge the loss that occurred today. May I also suggest, that the same gratitude we are expressing for our children’s safety today, can assist us in our everyday lives. Do not bemoan your imperfect self, for it’s still here. It’s still breathing and loving and hurting and here.
And may God shine some grace on those families in Connecticut.