Today is Lucy's birthday. My sweet darling girl, not even two when her dad died, is four years old. My energetic, creative, strong-willed baby girl is growing up! How much her father would have loved to see her with goggles on swimming in the pool, talking about "fonge bob," writing her name in preschool, playing her barbies!
A few weeks ago Lucy was at her uncle's house and he offered to dance with her while she waited for her turn on the karaoke. Lucy was overjoyed. She danced and danced and flipped and smiled. Her uncle decided to get a drink of water and Lucy followed on his heels and stood and waited while he drank until she could pull him back to the dance floor. Likewise, last weekend at the pool, a friend's dad began playing wtih Lucy while he played with his son. I will not forget the sight of Lucy hanging over the pool rope with unadulterated joy on her face as her friend's dad threw her a toy to find in the pool or picked her up and helped her make a big splash.
The girls are very happy, well adjusted ladies. They are not somber. They do not not appear to be in mourning. But when they have the opportunity to play with a dad, it is the one time you can see what they are missing. They can't stop. They want to play and play. They have found what they need, what they are missing, the need they don't even think about or know, except when it is presented in front of them.
We have a choice in this world.
Everytime I see this situation play out I could be angry for my children. Angry that their wonderful father isn't here to shower upon them the attention and love that they need and deserve. Sad, that they are missing this so deeply, so greatly, so obviously.
I could think these thoughts every time. Forever.
I choose instead to be glad. So glad that I am there to give them everything I can. And in those moments where they can play with a dad, so glad that they can joyfully gain what they need. Glad at the joy in their faces when they experience what some children have everyday. Glad that they are not embarrassed, glad that they are joyful, unashamedly enjoying the love of someone standing in the gap. For a moment. For an hour.
To all those friends and family out there, the ones that say hello to Maggie and Lucy when they walk by them, cheer extra hard for Nora on the soccer field, put them on their shoulders, throw them in the pool, thank you. Thank you for being there for my children. Whether or not you knew their father, you can be sure that HE KNOWS YOU.
Happy Birthday Lucy girl.
not alone and not afraid --
"Zion said, "The Lord has forsaken me; my Lord has forgotten me." Can a mother forget her infant, be without tenderness for the child of her womb? Even should she forget, I will never forget you." Isaiah 49:14-15