Like the majority of you, I’ve spent the weekend in alternating states of sadness and disbelief over this terrible, terrible thing that has happened in Connecticut. I see Jude and I think immediately of what life would be like without him and it pains me to the core. On Friday night, I rocked him to sleep in the rocking chair like he was a tiny newborn all over again. I sang songs in his ear and then prayed out loud for each one of the sixteen precious kiddos in his class by name. I prayed for safety and security for his teachers and that they would be blessed beyond measure for the investment they make in not only Jude’s life, but every other child’s life that they have come in contact with. And I cried for the parents who would not get to rock their babies to sleep that night because those precious little souls were with Jesus due to the act of a terribly disturbed young man who himself was a baby not really all that long ago. Someone’s baby.
At church on Sunday, our usually stoic (and somewhat sarcastic, occasionally) small group leader broke down in tears in front of our class as he struggled to put words to a sad situation. And at that moment, I felt relief that I wasn’t the only one experiencing anxiety over it. We all feel it. There’s no way to explain what happened. We will never understand in this life.
The preciousness and sacredness of life was ever before me all weekend long, starting with Jude’s Christmas program on Thursday evening. I tell ya, there is NOTHING better than a group of little kids singing Christmas songs. NOTHING. And boy, were we proud! It was like full-on paparazzi with all the parents. I think the parents were funnier to watch than all the kids, although there were some pretty funny antics too. Jude would stand up for awhile, then decide he was done with that and sit down. He’d bawk like a chicken to the girl next to him and I’d see her say “STOP IT.” Hahaha And he was so handsome! His little gingham shirt and v-neck sweater just melt me.
Late Friday afternoon, a friend who works for Downtown OKC, Inc. offered us a set of tickets to go see the Nutcracker. I didn’t know if Jude would sit through it, but can I tell you that secretly I’ve been wishing for the day when we’d get to go do that as a family, so I accepted their incredibly gracious offer and off we went downtown. Dinner was quick at Irma’s and then we got to the Civic Center just before it began. Our seats were fantastic and Jude was fascinated with the entire show. The Nutcracker is one of my faves – it’s so full of beauty and whimsy. It was just what we needed that night. Plus it was another opportunity for him to wear his fancy clothes :).
On Saturday we did stuff around the house, shopped some and then went to my parents’ house to hang up some Christmas lights (blue! green! stripes!) on their trees. And on the way home, we stopped downtown to go ice skating.
Let me rephrase that. Jude and Simon went ice skating. I watched. Here, in 3 parts, is a visual history of how the ice skating went:
They made it around the (albeit tiny) rink one time when everyone was called off to have the ice refinished w/ the zamboni. And let it be known, it was a rough first round. Then he was ready to try again once the ice was refinished. Back they went, and Simon said later that he felt like he was going to accidentally pull Jude’s arms out of his sockets from trying to hold him up on the ice. After the second go-around, Jude decided he’d had enough, but could he please continue to wear the ice skates while he ate some Skittles? Um, okay.
Later that night, as we lay in bed talking about the day, Jude said, “Mom, I don’t think I want to ever go ice skating again.”
“Oh really? Why is that?”
“Well. All those other people were so much better at it than me! I was terrible!”
Well, my love, that’s ok. I think you’ve got a long way to go. And I, for one, intend to be there with you, every step of the way.