A child has not made up his mind yet about what is and what is not possible. He has no fixed preconceptions about what reality is; and if someone tells him that the mossy place under the lilac bush is a magic place, he may wait until he thinks that no one is watching him, but then he will very probably crawl in under the lilac bush to see for himself. A child also knows how to accept a gift. He does not worry about losing his dignity or becoming indebted if he accepts it. His conscience does not bother him because the gift is free and he has not earned it and therefore really has no right to it. He just takes it, with joy. In fact, if it is something that he wants very much he may even ask for it. And lastly, a child knows how to trust. It is late at night and very dark and there is the sound of sirens as his father wakes him. He does not explain anything but just takes him by the hand and gets him up, and the child is scared out of his wits and has no idea what is going on, but he takes his father’s hand anyway and lets his father lead him where he chooses into the darkness.
Federick Buechner, The Magnificent Defeat
The other day I looked out the window across the street and saw a gaggle of boys climbing in a tree, hanging from its limbs. My daughters begged to join them, and after approval they flew across the street like so many times before. As I glanced across the street again I reached for my camera, it seems safer sometimes to grieve good friends moving from the other side on the lens. A van pulls up and more kids pile out. Their little laughs and giggles seem so natural, in fact this is all they know in life, they have played together since they were born. I quietly trail behind them snapping photos as they move from one favorite playing spot to another. They play hard together like they know the last time they get to be all together is coming, but I doubt they fully grasp yet the reality of that.
As a mother my heart breaks for these kiddos, I have learned to love them as my own, watch them grow, prayed for them and celebrated them. My heart is mindful of the teachable moments as I press through my own tears, for many of them this is their first “loss.” I can’t predict how they are going to respond or hurt as their little world changes, but I can come alongside to embrace and encourage in this moment. My youngest we tried to prepare by telling her they were moving around Easter, has remained quiet other than saying repeatedly “mommy, I don’t want Easter to come.” But my little love, it is here, now is the time to say our good byes, and hope that even this sad event may demonstrate to our kids about the meaning and cost of love, how to leave well, and the tie that binds. It’s Easter – it all happens according to His plan and glory. Thank you lord, for friends to journey with, our lives have been enriched and we have been blessed.