The Child Behind

I have no idea where my brain is today. Perhaps I left it at the local establishment last night, after a last minute text from my best buddy invited me out to a local meetup group. The trail of the evening is still presenting itself to me this afternoon as I sip my French press in an effort to piece together the last 12 hours. Yup, it’s possible that I over did it…and I’m not proud.

There’s a part of me that really needs to unwind, to let it all go, so to speak. But there’s the other part of me that keeps the leash short and the reins pulled even tighter. As I type, I’m listening to the beautiful sounds of the neighborhood children making up some innocent game in the front yard. Just their playful sounds make me jealous: I long to take a “mulligan” on those days when life was so carefree. My own children are absent. My daughter is visiting grandparents in Florida, and my son is soaking up the last precious hours of a Friday-night sleepover with his best friend. And if I close my eyes, I can hear the cicadas singing away in the trees, droning, coloring the unadulterated aural canvas with their gentle earth tones.

Here, I sit, with Fred, my stoic yet comical Bassett hound, in the sun on an absolutely lovely, almost autumnal afternoon. Reflecting and reflective. I’m struggling with the concept of self love. I don’t know why, but this is a difficult one for me. No matter where my thoughts venture, they always bring me back to some vicious picture of mirrored conception that tells me I don’t deserve what I have. What do I have? Well, I have a family and a handful of dear friends that love me, most importantly. I know that in any situation, good or bad, those people will never let me go hungry, live on the street, or suffer any other maliciousness or over-inflatedness that awaits those who are not so fortunate. I can pick up the phone and someone will do whatever it takes to pick me up and hold my hand, from thousands of miles away or from right around the corner. That is priceless!

My eldest nephew sat on my couch yesterday, simply relaxing after what has been such a stress for him and his wife: an unexpected baby in the NICU, premature by two months. It made my heart swell to listen to him recant the newly-discovered love he feels for his baby daughter, his first child, and for his wife, who, at not yet thirty years of age, has bravely fought through many bouts of life-threatening illness. In the same conversation, he told me about the “crack babies” in the NICU, who seldom receive visitors, if ever at all. No one holds them or rarely speaks to them, except the caretakers. It’s so easy to create a life, whether wanted or not. But it so sucks to watch a life potentially destroyed before it even leaves the incubator and the hospital. What kind of a chance is that?

If you have love in your life, whether it be from family and/or friends, consider yourself a winner! We all need that pat on the back, and we all need that hug when we least expect it. Just giving life doesn’t make you special – it makes you merely biological. Dig deep, and find that reason for which you were put here. You may discover that the reason isn’t for you…Beautiful, unpredictable life. Breathe it in and truly take the time! Figure it out…start now! Go back to that little child who is still within…he or she is alive, and needs to say something…

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