Yesterday we attended (and I photographed) a first birthday party. It was a great time, full of happy kids, yummy food, a bubble and balloon lady, and the most wow-inducing cupcakes ever. Not to mention the birthday girl herself, who was a vision of cuteness:
Since I've become a parent, I've realized how drawn people are to babies and children. They really have something that we lose as we get older: a sense of innocence, wonder, newness. One of the best parts of being a mom is getting to see the world through Charlie's eyes. It's kind of a miracle (and I hate that word) to be able to experience the world whole-heartedly again.
Kids are pure. Even when they become brooding teenagers, there's a purity there that's undeniable.
Today we attended the funeral of a 19-year-old boy named Zack. He was the son of one of my old work buddies, and his death happened completely unexpectedly. I had never met him, but I wanted to show my support for my friend, so the three of us (well, the four of us, actually) packed up and headed out.
It wasn't exactly the way I wanted to spend a Sunday afternoon.
But we piled into the church and we listened to the preacher talk about Zack. And as I held my kiddo and felt my other kiddo swoosh around inside me, Roy put his arm around me and the tears began to fall.
It all just felt so unfair. Yes, death is a part of life. Yes, the tears we shed are for ourselves, not for the departed. Yes, grief is ultimately a selfish emotion, but what emotion isn't self-centered? I still don't think it's right for a 19-year-old to die. I don't think it's right that a mother had to have her son cremated. I don't think it's right that the world keeps on spinning when there's one less person on it.
My heart is heavy tonight. And really the only thing I can do is hug my boys a little tighter, love them a little more fiercely, and be grateful for another beautiful day together.