My thoughts as I watched my boys play today.

I am constantly staring at my kids. As I watch them, my mind is moving at a dangerous speed. I’m thinking of how much they have grown from the yittle (no typo) babies I first laid eyes on. I am thinking about their genuine smiles and innocence as I pray that the world doesn’t take that away from them. I’m taking notice of a new scar, scratch or mole even. I am taking in the moments. I am capturing mental photos of my growing babies and hoping that I’m able to hold on to it all as I, myself, age. One day I will house an empty nest as my children move on to start lives of their own. I will rely on those very images to keep them close to me. It will be those stored away moments in time that will bring a smile to my face in their absence until I see them again.

There has been a real shift. A very alarming shift; In the way that I process these moments now. In addition to all of the above ways, every time I watch my children, I am visited by a thief of joy. Reality. Reality sits on me like a painful weight that I’m almost waiting to be crushed by, Ugh! Sounds bad right? Yeah, it feels worse. We are living in a day where the very people who have been sworn in to protect us are causing us horrific harm. We are living in a time where amongst many, life holds no true value, so taking one, is so easily done. We are living in an hour where kids are now just as dangerous as adults; The venues we previously deemed as safe such as places of worship, schools & locations where community gather are just as scary as finding ourselves in the middle of… war. What senseless war it is. Hate for others is surely one of the culprits, but I do believe that it is hate for self that walks off with the charge. We all have read the headlines. We have seen the never-ending news footage. We sense the fear in the overall atmosphere. It’s a scary time. Sure, there are people who feel they can bear witness to times that were scarier than this. I am far from a history buff, but I do believe the difference between now and any other time in history is that today we have no idea who the “enemy” is. It’s not just the slave master or the opposing military. It’s not just the the KKK. It’s not just the creepy looking neighbor who we all know to stay away from. It could be literally anyone. Man, woman or child. Nowhere is safe.

The above is the reason for the shift in my processing of my every moment with my children and anyone that I love dearly for that matter. I see every moment as a potential “last moment.” How sad is that? When I kiss my children and say farewell as I send them off to school, I pray that it’s not the last time I see them. Subsequently, I look them over as to capture them in that very moment in the event that it is. Why has it come to this?

A 15 year old young boy by the name of Lesandro Guzman-Feliz was recently jumped and stabbed (with a machete) to death by 5 adult men. There are at least two videos circulating around the internet which show the entire incident. Man. It pains my heart. Deeply. So tragic. So heinous. Today reports show that it was actually a case of mistaken identity. They weren’t out to kill that child. It was another child that they were after. This does not make it any better, because either way, loved ones are left behind to grieve the death of a child. I can’t stop thinking about it.

I have 2 sons (and a daughter). Any day they could be mistaken for someone else. Anyday some punk having a bad day can take their lives. At any moment one of their peers can decide to end their own life and take them and others with them. At ANY day ANY of these things and more can happen so TODAY and every day, I will love on my babies. I will take every moment that I have with them as if it is my last. I will smother them with my love.

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