Today I celebrate life, but my heart is heavy.

Today is my youngest son’s birthday. I rejoice in this day. I go out of my way every year to make my kids feel extra special on their birthdays. No matter how much money we have, what is stressing me, or what is going on in our lives. I decorate our table with party ware, hang birthday banners, either cook their favorite breakfast or surprise them with donuts. I give them a couple of gifts and sing Happy Birthday. Every year. It isn’t much but they love it.

I love their innocence. I want to keep that magic alive for them as long as possible.

We had had a rough couple of birthdays for this little guy. Money has been tight in years past, dad was working out of state, Pop Pop died the week prior. Even through these difficult times I put on a happy face and wrap him up in all my love.

That blind innocence gets harder to keep alive each year. At school not too long ago, they had a gun safety course. One day this month they have drill for what to do if there is a shooting at their school. My sweet little innocent (now) seven year old came home asking if we have guns in the house and what he should do if he found one. It broke my heart that he has that on his mind and heart. In light of recent events, I am even more sad.

It breaks my heart that my kids are growing up in a world where we have to have safety drills for a school shooter. Or a  world where we have to worry about little kids getting the family gun, bringing it to school, and accidentally shooting a classmate. We live in a world where people stalk mothers in parking lots and grocery stores trying to steal their children away to sell them to the highest bidder. A world where people go to night clubs, festivals, and concerts and open fire or set off bombs on people just trying to have a good time. Our world has gone to hell in a handbasket.

This world is the one my children are growing up in. I fear for them every single day. Each birthday signifies one step closer to when they are thrust out into this big bad world all on their own.

For now though, there is nothing I can do but love them and hold them a little longer, hug them a little tighter. Most of all, I can appreciate the moments I have with them.

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Almost time to say goodbye to Summer…

We have actually had a relatively great summer together, the kids and I. Sure, they have fought and drove me crazy. I have lost my cool. There has been some yelling and crying. By me and the kids. But we survived.

I can tell it is the ending of summer vacation though. Everyone is stir crazy and tired of each other. The anxiety levels are up. We are all becoming short tempered with each other. We need a break from our summer break.

It is hard when you are mostly stuck inside with each other all day. It has been way too hot to really do much outside for long periods of time. We don’t have a pool or a good water hose to do any water play. The parks around here aren’t very shady. Our little city doesn’t offer much entertainment wise for families either. Normally they would have spent a good bit of the summer at their grandma’s house but she has a houseguest that is keeping the kids from being able to go over. They didn’t get to go swimming at their other grandma’s apartment complex because that pool has been broken all summer.

We did get that little prehistoric adventure and had a couple birthday parties sprinkled in over the last couple months. Overall though, it has been a slow, boring summer.

I wish there were more kids in our neighborhood and that neighbors were all friendly with each other out here. When I was growing up I knew and played with everyone down my street. I was surrounded my family and cousins though. Built in friends there. I feel bad we don’t know any of our neighbors down the road. Even so, Only one has any school age children. At least the bus only stops at one other house down the road besides out next door neighbor.

So they have me and they have each other. That is about it. So together we have been. Inside playing games and watching way too much television.

At least when school starts again they will get to see different faces every day.