Be Here Now.

IMG_1071Asher’s current career ambition is to be a server. He may, like many people, try it one day but I can guarantee you it’ll never stick. He has too much of his mother’s nature and will never have the patience to cater to other people’s whims on a daily basis.

This weekend, we played “Gross Restaurant,” in which he served me things like a book, a piece of wood and a gold coin from his treasure chest. I couldn’t eat enough of his gross, yucky stuff, because every time I took a pretend bite and spat it out, he laughed that laugh. You know the one. That infectious, full-on, body-shaking giggle.

So delicious.

And like most people, I needed to hear that laugh this weekend. I needed that life-affirming sound more than I needed air.

Yesterday, after school, he wanted to play “Dirty Restaurant.” I won’t go into why except to say that as much as we love our neighborhood, some parts of it are shabby. And not shabby chic.

I was sitting on the floor at the leaf-blower-box-turned-restaurant-table and Ash was offering me things to eat. He picked up a plastic apple from his kitchen, held it up to me and said, “Don’t eat this apple — it’s poison.”

“Oh no, your dirty restaurant has poison apples?” I said dramatically.

“Yes, but you can’t eat it,” he insisted. “There are lots of Ashers in this restaurant and one of them ate this apple and that Asher died.”

My heart went into my throat.

A silent sob racked my body.

I stopped it. I don’t even know how. But I know why.

Asher is in kindergarten and he knows nothing about Sandy Hook. It will stay that way.

In his innocence, he continued to laugh and play, jumping on me as I lay on the floor and pretending to offer me the apple and then snatch it away and save me.

I thought about leaving the room and sobbing like I wanted to. Like I want to a hundred times a day when I think about those who died in Newtown. When I see the rabbit hole across the room and it calls me to come peer inside, maybe even come inside for a visit. There’s one in every room I go into, following me around like a shadow.

I try to stay away, even though I see it in my peripheral vision always.

I am not strong enough to go down that rabbit hole.

I cannot picture the thing that my mind keeps insisting I picture.

I didn’t leave the room. My son was there with me, laughing and rolling around on the floor on top of me. His life-force was calling out to me: be here now. So I chose him. Like I will every day.

I am so blessed. God bless all of those affected by Sandy Hook.

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  1. Wow… this is lovely and so very true.

  2. Thanks for sharing and you said it perfectly!

  3. What a beautiful post. Thanks for sharing.

    When I went out alone to the grocery store on Saturday, my husband told me my daughter (who is not quite 2) sat at the front door and waited for me to come home. It’s almost like she sensed something was wrong from the way I wouldn’t let her go on Friday.

    I don’t think we’ll ever be the same. Yesterday I found myself looking over my shoulder when we went out for our morning walk. It just hit too close to home.

    Enjoy many more Gross Restaurant experiences!!!


    P.S. I love the name Asher. So awesome!

  4. Such a lovely perspective, so touching, and beautifully written. P.S. I loooove playing restaurant – I’m totally suggesting Dirty Restaurant tonight. 🙂

  5. So touching, caring and right on point. Bravo!

  6. Thank you for your beautiful post. I have been enjoying the laughter of my kids too, even more than I usually do. It feels like the one thing I can do, enjoy the beautiful children I have in my life and pray for all who are going through hell right now in CT. Hugs to you!

    • Thank you so much, Kathy, for this and everything. It’s been really hard for a lot of the mothers I know to move on…to make that choice to live all the moments with their kids instead of feeling the hurt for the people involved in Sandy Hook. I still can’t put it out of my mind. But we all still have to get up and go on. I just hope something is done about it this time.

  7. This was so beautifully done. And, as always, your honesty just rings through in your words. Sorry, I’m so behind on reading, but, happy I found this now. Really wonderful. Love to you and yours.

    • Thank you. Oddly enough I was having so much trouble getting writing again and it wasn’t until I wrote this that I was able to write something else.

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