If you want to read thier journey then first you must get out a box of tissues, and then you must prepare for all the feelings of joy and sorrow and cherishing your family to rush through your mind and heart. Click here to read more about them. This little family had a toddler the same age as my youngest. A beautiful bright little girl whose name was Preslee. And, due to a tragic accident Preslee fell in the canal and drowned. She fought for her life and her family prayed and stayed at her side and eventually Preslee left this world. She was their only child. She was the center of their world. Losing her changed everything about day to day life. Her mother has posted many inspirational words on her blog as she works her way through this trial but the one that struck me this week was her advice. She related that someone recently had asked her if she had to do it again knowing what the outcome would be (losing her daughter) would she have done anything differently?
I stopped for a minute and asked myself that question "If I were to lose these beautiful incredible kids of mine tomorrow what would I wish I had done differently while I had them?".....and her answer was the same as mine.....soak up all the little stuff. Take lots of pictures of everyday, write in your journal about your life with them, get out the video camera to capture the cute way that they talk, love every little everyday minute of it. So, this weekend I tried to do just that. My kids had popsicle and dirt on their faces. They had stickers stuck all over their clothes. They weren't wearing shoes. I took their pictures. I want to remember how those messy little faces looked at the end of the day and how their hair looked when the woke up in the morning. I want to be able to replay those moments when we found something amazing in the backyard (like a dragonfly) or when they cracked up laughing or when they dug holes in the backyard.
I want more than beautifully posed portraits. I want everyday life captured in word and image. So, here it is, my weekend fully soaked up:
When I walked out into my backyard on Friday night I found my son digging a hole. He looked like this:
Half an hour later my oldest discovered an insect wing laying on the ground. It was possible to her that it was a fairy wing...even likely that it was. ( we later confirmed that it was not :) The kids gathered around and oohed and ahhed. They caried the wing cradled in a leaf to keep it safe. They found a dragonfly lying lifeless on the ground and decided to adopt it and keep it in their little backyard museum of sorts. They were completely and totally in awe at the beauty of this world and I admired them for their appreciation of God's creations. And I loved them for their wide eyed wonder.
Saturday morning we woke up to discover that our pathetic garden had actually grown a cucumber. We planted this sorry garden six months ago and have never removed the unproductive cucumber plant. I shouted up the stairs to tell the kids and they came running in a frenzy to see this miracle cucumber. They were so happy that their hard work had actually produced something....and they posed with our lone cucumber with pride.
Saturday we worked all day to clean the house. They whined and they flopped on the floor. They asked me one hundred and fifty three times how much longer they would have to work and one hundred fifty three times I told them we would work until we were done. And when were done they were happy with their clean rooms. We went to the park and played a highly modified version of baseball using shoes and baby wipes for bases. When it was dark we stopped for icecream and then they were off to bed.
This morning my girls woke me up. They were in their jammies with a tray of oatmeal and milk in their hands. They had snuck downstairs, prepared mom and dad breakfast in bed, and surprised us. My toddler sat next to me on the bed and ate my whole bowl of oatmeal and drank all my milk...smiling all the while. Then she told me she loved me so it was OK that she ate my breakfast.
And now here I sit. Glad that I took some pictures. Glad that I soaked it up. Glad to write it down and promising to not dissapear for so long in the future. Life gets busy but I'll try not to forget to soak it up. Don't let it pass by. Because taking walks and playing ball together and working in the yard and enjoying the moment is what it's all about.
NOW GO SOAK IT UP!
I'll be back :)