“I kinda miss them.”
I don’t know what kind of person you are when it comes to cleaning. But me? I’m the kind that gets the sudden urge to give tons of bags away to goodwill. It’s like all at once the clutter is too overwhelming and it all just has to go! Nothing is sacred. You better hold tight to what you want to keep!
That is exactly what came over me this weekend. I had a sudden urge to control one of the few things I could right now – the state of my house. So I went with a vigor through most of the rooms working almost constantly, sorting and bagging up stuff that just “had to go.”
My poor family!
I was on fire. Rapid change was happening all over the house and I loved it. In fact, I was concentrating so hard that when my oldest son was suddenly standing next to me clutching a picture frame – I snapped at him. “You aren’t supposed to touch the things in here, mommy is cleaning!”
He mumbled something quietly and put the frame on the table. I was working in our makeshift “classroom/office” trying to make some much needed space. A few minutes later, I picked the frame up to move it aside and finally caught a glimpse of the image it contained. It actually wasn’t a picture from the room I was cleaning. It was a photo from his precious collection of memories in his room.
As I held the frame tight, the faces of his kindergarten class stared back at me.
I called him back into the room, gave him a hug and asked why he brought me this photo. “I thought it could go in our classroom,” he said. “I kinda miss them.”
He shuffled off to play a few minutes later, and I placed the photo up on the shelf. As I worked, though, I kept seeing it – a reminder to pause and grieve and take it all in. A reminder that it’s okay to be real about how hard this all is.
This morning, my prayer is for children of all ages. I pray for their resilience because no matter if they are in-person or remote – this year will be different. And I pray for adults, myself included, that we don’t forget they are grieving too in their own ways. May we be willing to stop and pause and listen to messages they are trying to give us.
And may we remember it’s okay to be vulnerable and it’s okay to be real.