social media is interesting. so many of us open up our Facebook pages, our twitter accounts, our instagram feeds to people we've never met. but for some reason, we connect with these strangers, and by reading their posts, their blogs, their updates - and by seeing their pictures, we come to know them. they come to know us. through pictures and a couple of sentences here and there describing an image that brings us joy.
this happened to me through instagram. a woman i've never met started commenting on some of the pictures of wyatt. we connected because our boys are close in age, have similar styles and our obsessions with them take us over. over the past 2 years, we've exchanged messages, and i've even bought some hand me downs of her sons off her for wyatt to enjoy. our boys shared similar interests, and each had a best friend. i loved seeing the pictures she'd post of her son with his little perfectly red-headed best friend. and she'd always comment on the pics i'd post of wyatt with paxton.
one day, she posted something unimaginable. her son's best friend was killed by a truck after running after a frisbee. just a week before that, she had posted pictures of the two of them celebrating her son's third birthday. days before that, pictures of them at disneyland together. a week before that, the two of them sitting side by side eating home made pudding popsicles. i'm pretty sure i commented or liked each and every one of the pictures of the two of them together.
three year olds don't just die. little boys, full of life and hope and innocence and love don't just die.
but he did.
i am and have been at a total loss. my heart has never broken for a stranger like it has for his beautiful mama. it aches for her. i cry for her, still. it's been 6 weeks. and a day hasn't gone by where i don't think of her. what she is doing. how she's coping. she posts on her blog 1-2 times a week. honest, heart wrenching posts. i sob for her. i'll read them when ty isn't home. like tonight. he's at a mariner's game. i caught up and read three posts and sobbed. this woman is incredible. and her pain is real and raw. and she has hope. and the love she and her husband share for each other, and their sweet angel, is inspiring.
i sometimes feel guilt when i read her posts. on nights where i lose my patience with wyatt, in particular. nights where i raise my voice, or when i decide not to read that extra book, or when i don't lay with him longer. i know i can do more, and be more to him. there was an auction circulating for this beautiful mama who lost her son, and i bid on a pair of red striped jammies. and every night i see them in his drawer, clean and folded, i swoop them up, put them on him, and immediately i focus on making our last little bit together before he goes to bed the best i can. for ryan. for jacqui. we call them his "ryan jams". he loves them. i also bought him another little t-shirt where the proceeds go to this family so they can take the time they need to heal. these things remind me to slow down, and show this little one love and patience and kindness. he can never go to bed not knowing how loved he is. about 6 months ago, he started repeating "ni' night, iluooo" back to me when i give him one last little look before closing his door. sometimes he even says it before i do. my heart bursts and it takes everything in me not to run in there and cozy up to him and smell him and kiss him and cuddle him for the entire night.
i know parents lose their kids all over the world. i try to honor them by never taking mine for granted. i'm not perfect and i mess up sometimes. i have some shitty mom moments like the best of us. but you can bet one thing. in the midst of my imperfectness, my kids will hear me own it, say i'm sorry and spend the rest of my life learning how to be better. i will continue to make mistakes, contributing to future therapists' job security, i'm sure. if that means they'll see me for who i am, and learn that great things come from being imperfect, vulnerable,
loving with all you have, being authentic,
and being human,
then i'll die a happy woman.