Hug Them Tighter – Let Your Children Know You Love Them
Loving our children is something that comes fairly easily to most mothers. Yes, they may drive us absolutely crazy at times, but in the end, we wouldn’t really trade them for a million dollars. Most days at least. Our children are our worlds, and that is how it should be. I always would have told you that’s how I felt about my kids. I love them more than words. The other day though, I was given a harsh reminder to hug them just a little bit tighter and love on them just a little bit longer. I was reminded of how quickly life can change, in the blink of an eye they say. And they aren’t wrong.
It was the fourth of July. We had been having a wonderful, quality family time filled day. A lunch out to eat, followed by an afternoon of fishing. Daddy even caught his first fish of the season! Dinner was a BBQ at a friends house, followed by a birthday cake for Buddy. It had been almost picture perfect. As the sun went down, the group split up. I was developing a bit of a headache and decided to remain behind with Bug, our autistic daughter whom the fireworks are just too loud for. Hubs took Buddy and Goose, along with two of our friends children and headed down the street to the local church that would be setting off fireworks.
Over 300 people gathered in that church parking lot to watch the firework display. I sat in the backyard with my best friend and her husband. Bug entertained their toddler in the living room. The view from the backyard was beautiful. Several neighbors were shooting off fireworks, and over the treetops you could almost see the display that the rest of our group was watching.
Then the phone rang. It was my the phone of my friend’s husband. His mother was calling him - nothing unusual there. She was also down watching the fireworks - although she sat across the street instead of in the church yard. I knew as soon as he jumped up that something was wrong. “All the fireworks are going off at once!” He yelled, and then he was gone.
Panic only made worse by confusion settled over me. What did he say? What does that mean? Looking in the direction that church was, it became clear though. What had been random fireworks barely breaking over the tops of the trees was now a solid red glow. It reminded me of the movies with forest fires. And my heart was suddenly in my knees. He literally meant what he said. All the fireworks were going off - before they were supposed to - at one time.
I grabbed my phone and called my husband. Praying for reassurance that everyone was safe at the truck. He answered, and I knew from the tone in his voice that the scene there was worse than my imagination had made it. I can’t even fully recall our conversation. I remember bits and pieces. “It’s chaos!” “People running everywhere.” “Goose has been hit.” “On our way.” And the call was over.
Goose has been hit. No explanation. No indication of how bad she was injured. Nothing. For a moment, I just stood there, tears beginning to fill in my eyes. I wrapped myself up in the arms of my friend and just cried. I have never felt so scared in my entire life as standing there, not knowing in what shape my daughter was returning to me.
What felt like an eternity later, although was probably only a manner of minutes, headlights were driving down the road and turning into the driveway. We ran out to the truck and I completely froze at the sight before my eyes. There in her carseat was my Goose. She was writhing and crying, kicking and screaming. I couldn’t get my body to move for a moment. I wanted nothing more than to gather her up in my arms, to comfort her and tell her everything would be ok because Mommy’s got her now. But I just couldn’t move. Fear and panic had turned my body to stone and I could do nothing but stand there and stare. A soft tap on my shoulder, my friend prompting me to go to her, snapped me back to reality and I ran over to her side of the truck.
She fell into my arms as soon as the door was open. Burrying her head on my shoulder, she cried while I carried her into the light to assess the damage done to her. “I never want to go anywhere without you again Mommy!” she sobbed, and my heart tore into pieces. I just held her tighter and comforted her the best I could. I’m here now darling. You’re safe now.
Upon examination, we learned it was her arm that was burnt. Unsure of the extent of the damage, we took an ambulance ride to the hospital. A little time and medication later, we were on our way home. She would be fine, just sore for a few days. I’m so very thankful that it was nothing more serious. While I hate that she was hurt at all, the relief that flooded through me when I knew for sure she would be fine was massive.
The next day, we were all tired. Even though physically we were all exhausted, no one in the house was able to get a good night’s sleep with the events of the day rolling around in our minds. So, we spent the day doing the best possible thing. We all pilled into my bed and watched tv, snuggling and bonding - spending quality family time together.
I would have told you before that I loved my children. I would have said that I would do absolutely anything for them, and I would have meant it. But, being in a position where I wasn’t sure if I would be able to speak to my Goose again made me realize just how valuable her life is to me. I’ve always loved her, but now I love her even more. Now I realize just how priceless each and every moment that I get to spend with her is. Because, I never know when it will be the last moment that I get to spend with her.
Today, I encourage you to spend some extra time loving on your children. Whether you snuggle up and watch a movie, or you play a board game together or go for a family bike ride - whatever it is that you choose to do, do it together. Hug your children just a little bit tighter than usual and pull them even closer to your heart. Always tell them you love them before you leave them, even if it’s just for a half hour while they go watch the fireworks display. You never know when the last time you’ll see them will be, and you don’t want to miss out on the opportunity to show them your love while they’re here.
Hug Your Kids Tightly Today!
Remind them just how much you love them!