It was a humid Saturday night. We sat outside on the patio. Daddy was grilling steak. Two blonde haired little boys threw sticks in the firepit. One was tall and lanky, clearly not a baby anymore. The other toddled around his older brother trying to do everything just like him. My little girl danced and twirled around the yard. Her blue-green eyes shining as she proclaimed, “This is the best night ever!”
I wanted to freeze time. Just stop it in its tracks. It truly was the best night ever. We ate our dinner on the patio and roasted marshmallows with all three of our children for the first time. The usual stress I feel in the evenings from long days that follow sleepless nights had given way to the acknowledgement that I am truly blessed. I will never get these moments back with my children, and I want to relish every last one of them.
We woke the next morning to clouded skies. For days the weather forecasters had warned us that this day would be rough. For the first time since I’ve been keeping up with the weather, our area was put in a “high risk” category. A tornado outbreak was expected. I am terrified of tornadoes. I have lived through too many “close calls” and seen the destruction they can cause. I hate Arkansas in the spring for this reason.
Evening came and it hadn’t so much as rained where we lived, but the sirens went off. We stood outside and felt the bizarre stillness as we watched clouds above us move. A tornado had been spotted on the ground, but it was about 20 miles from our home. I said a silent prayer as the weathermen seemed slightly panicked that they were seeing a debris ball on the radar. They were urging people to take cover as the storm moved further away from where we lived.
An F4 tornado ripped through small towns of my state. Tearing apart homes and businesses and taking lives. The coverage was horrific.
I am constantly reminded of the very miracle that is life and how short our time is. Our children’s childhoods are even shorter and I am tired of being a stressed, depressed mom. Anxiety and stress get to me and sometimes prevent me from enjoying life as I should. They keep me from being the mother I want so much to be.
I want more Saturdays like the Saturday out on the patio. My husband and I are making much more of an effort to enjoy all the little, simple things with our children. We love to see them throw those sticks in the fire and dance and twirl around the yard. I hope to always remember them that way even when they are grown with little boys who throw sticks and little girls who dance and twirl.
Put your frustrations and stresses to the side and make those memories.