In the wake of last week’s horrific tragedy in Connecticut, I’ve made a conscious effort to be more patient with my kids and appreciate every minute I get to spend with them. There’s been extra snuggles, more kisses, and frequent I love you’s. It’s easy to take these years for granted and I know I will miss them dearly when my kids are all grown.
This weekend we made Swedish Pepparkakor, a yearly Christmas tradition in our house. The kids’ favorite part is eating the dough raw, just like I did at their age! We made white chocolate peppermint bark gift bags for their teachers, appreciating them even more than usual, remembering the brave teachers who tried to protect and save their students.
We did a few science experiments including making oobleck and the naked egg experiment. I attended the annual Christmas program at the elementary school, my oldest daughter’s holiday choir concert, took my son to a bowling party with friends, gone ice skating, made hot chocolate, and went to my kindergartner’s Christmas sing-a-long.
We’ve cuddled on the couch, watching our favorite Christmas movies, including Elf, The Santa Clause and National Lampoon Christmas Vacation. We had fun making silly videos with ElfYourself and laughed until our sides hurt. We turned on Christmas music and looked at pictures from past holiday celebrations.
It’s been bittersweet for me, getting to do all these things with my kids this week and knowing that there are 20 moms in Connecticut who will never get to hold their child again. My baby turns 6 this month, hitting close to my heart knowing the children killed in Connecticut were the same age. It breaks my heart knowing that there are twenty 6 year old kids who won’t be unwrapping Christmas gifts next Tuesday morning. So please, cherish your kids, no matter how old they are, and tell them you love them often.
In my house, after everyone is tucked snuggly into their beds, we end the night with, “I love you to the moon and back!” And I do.