I had successfully survived another week in the grocery store. Jake was in kindergarten, and the girls had played peacefully in the cart while I zoomed through the aisles. The checker smiled at Grace as she rang up my groceries. "Sometimes I miss those little babbles," she said. Her children are teens and young adults. When she doesn't sleep through the night now it's because she's wondering where her teenager is. Ouch.
I thought of a friend whose grown son recently succumbed to a decades-long battle with depression, leaving behind a wife and young family. I don't know of a better person on this earth than my friend. If she could raise a son who struggled so much, any of us are vulnerable.
Do we really understand what we sign up for when we welcome a child into the world?
I'm sure I don't. But I think of my friend and the grocery store checker and I want to hold my children closer, smile at them more, and treasure the precious people they are. I want to be more patient with their messes and more compassionate with their tantrums.