It has been a long two weeks. Here in Pennsylvania, we’ve had a stretch of horrible winter weather. We’ve seen snow, ice, rain, cold, and round and round again. With the bad weather, we’re stuck inside most nights. Combine that with two energetic boys and elementary school cancellations.
Two tired parents.
Val and I often ask ourselves about what we did before kids. It’s funny how those moments gradually fade into a blur of passing time. There are days where you get pushed. Tag can only be played so much. The pillows can only stand up to so many fights. One room is cleaned as Aiden empties drawers and throws toys in the other.
We get stretched. We look at each other and wonder where these little humans came from. How did my six-year-old turn sixteen overnight?
Yesterday, I read an article on Yahoo Parenting that changed everything for me. The title, one of the most engaging I’ve seen in a long time, is My Husband Killed Our Kids.
It tells the story of the Mendoza family as written from an interview with Zoey Mendoza. Her ex husband, suffering from depression and not taking his medication, picked up their five and three-year-old children from daycare one afternoon. He drove them to his parent’s abandoned home, killed them both and then himself.
Mendoza takes you through the moment she found out what happened. She talks about dealing with grief and, one night, how her children visited her from Heaven. She got a tattoo of an infinity symbol on her neck, the ink mixed with the ashes of her children, symbolizing how they’d be with her forever. As I read through it, ending my day at work, I had to brush the tears from my eyes.
I’ll take the long nights, the obstacle courses, watching multiple episodes of Power Rangers on television. I’ll gladly stay up hours into the night trying to get Aiden to sleep as he sings “Happy Birthday” to me in the dark of his room. I’ll take every argument, battle, bath, dinner, and homework assignment.
It is all worth it because they are there and alive.
We’ve been blessed to have two children and, even in the stressful times, we must never forget it.
Because one day they’ll move out. Carter will call me on the phone and say, “Dad, my kid is driving me crazy. Was I ever like this?”
And I’ll tell him he has no idea.