Last week, while the thunderstorms raged and the lightning flashed, my oldest boy couldn’t sleep. He was petrified, his little hands over his ears and body totally still, wishing the thunder away from our house. Both boys whimpered a little, tossing and turning, but when Bear went back to sleep, Widget remained vigilent and worried, terrified of the mayhem that was going on outside.
I stayed to comfort them, of course, and began to talk our way through it.
I started by explaining what we saw. I told him a story, in bedtime fashion, about what causes thunder (lightning), what causes lightning (charged particles bumping too close together), and what charges up the particles (hang in for one more minute here). We talked about how everything in the world is made up of these little bits (particles) and how the particles could have a charge, like a shock, and when so many of them got together and were moving around really really fast they build up energy just like when brothers run around really really fast down the hall like fire trucks (or a city bus, apparently, if you ask Bear these days). And then one of them runs a little too hard, and they bump together, and bam! the energy has to go somewhere, so it falls down to earth like lightning.
The talking calmed him down, but the light and noise were still raging outside his window, showing no signs of abating. A visit from Daddy brought more stories of how lightning happens (static electricity on a slide, anyone? he is awesome, I know), but it wasn’t quite enough either. So the three of us turned it into a game. After a particularly bright flash, I marveled at its brightness. Then, Daddy did. To be silly, after another, I clapped my hands and said a very quiet, “Bravo!” Soon, a little voice was joining me, and little hands clapped above the covers after each flash. We watched the next stage of the lightning storm as if it were a beautiful light show, oohing and aahing and celebrating the beauty instead of fearing the consequences.
And then, just before he fell asleep, Widget turned to Mama and said, in his sleepy little four year old voice, “I will always remember these moments.”
Hmmmm. I may have said that around the house, once or twice. You see, since my diagnosis on June 16, 2007, I’ve taken extra note of each magical moment, written it down when I could, or just shared it with my loved ones with a smile. I know that no matter what comes my way, I am sure that I have lived.
So if I whisper to the boys late at night that I love them, and that I will always love them, or if I hug them a little too tight, or if I am a tad too willing to choose fun over laundry, there’s a reason behind it all. I want these boys to know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, two things: 1. Mama loves her boys more than anything in the world, and 2. Mama lived each day, with kindness and with no regrets.
There’s more that I want to do, sure, but that’s enough.
I will always remember these moments.