Lately i have found my self very interested, nay, obsessed with the tellings of the Jewish people and their unimaginable journey into the concentration camps. I find myself grasping at all the information that i can get and reading book after book about that frightful period in time.
I find myself feeling guilty as i read it. I find myself feeling angry at the Germans. I also find myself wondering, how? How would i have lived in that time. Who would i have been. What would i have done. How would i have handled it?
I have worked hard to keep my overwhelming fear of the unknown and the end times at bay. Consciously. For fear of my own demise.
And so when i dig deeply into the stories of Jewish death camps.....I can't help but allow my mind to connect the dots between the gravity of their fates and the misguided fear of my own potential fate. The fear that i have of living out Revelations. Fighting to the end.
All the stories of survivors and witnesses alike, tell the same fateful tale. The stars on their clothing, the gathering of Jews and the horrendous conditions, the cattle cars and the camps. Some lived to tell about it, scarred. Some didn't. And its something that i force myself to think about--because i fear that if i don't--it makes their suffering somehow less. Because it is our history as a world, though ugly, and one that i feel the least i can do, is read about. No matter how hard it may be.
As a Mother these stories have such a different meaning to me than they did before. To separate a mother from her child? I can think of no greater evil.
In the current book that i am reading, a young boy--only 13, is at Auschwitz and was recently separated from his sisters and Mother earlier that day. He is with his Father in torturous conditions. They are stripped naked, shaved bald and humiliated. He speaks of that first night in the camp. Standing in a room with no floor. Walls, but no roof and the smell of death all around him. He finally finds sleep.(while standing). And he writes about his dream. He said, "I dreamed of a bed, my mothers hand on my face..."
Its not much. Not intense or dramatic. And he was soon awakened to the harsh realities of his current situation.
But for me, that line, that one tiny line touched deep in my heart.
Read it again, and think of your child dreaming that dream. It hurts doesn't it?
It is such a great reminder of the power of our loving touch. The power of a Mother. How a child longs for the comforting, safe, love of their Momma.
It stirred me. It awoken in me an even deeper desire to hold my children close.
I think about how we fuss with "baby wising" our kids, in hopes of getting them on a schedule. Or how we hurry through bed time, story time, for our own quiet space. How we always seem to get annoyed when they play in the bathroom instead of just brushing their teeth at night. We regulate if we are parenting with "enough" rules or "not enough". Are they "problem solving" the way they should be. Maybe they should have more chores at this age? Lessen our loads. How can we grow them properly and quick enough so that we--as parents--aren't inconvenienced?
I hate that. All of it.
Now don't get your panties all in a bunch 'cause i said something that almost offended you. I don't need to hear your opinion on "the importance of chores and getting them on a schedule". Or hear that facts on how "if kids can't read by 3 they will never get into College?" Or "4 years in preschool is the new black." " Potty training at 7 months means my kid is on the fast track in life." Basically, so many people try to imply--very passive aggressively--that their kid is going to be the valedictorian and pretty much everyone else's kids will be wearing the dunce hat. To them, structure = succeeding at everything. (And if you are a new parent reading this, please don't ever fall into their unhappy little trap. Love your kid. That's all they need. You are never inadequate if you are present.) Don't miss my point here, i am not ripping on structure, for i know it brings many benefits and positives. I only say sometimes we focus so heavily on the future that we actually end up missing the present. And that scares me.
We have a pretty intense bedtime routine at our house. With lots of stories, lots of kissing, lots of praying and then a final snuggle until we hear our kids breath change into that slow and constant rhythm--ensuring us of their complete transition into slumber.
Some night i just look over at my boy, as he lays peacefully, sleeping. And my heart feels like it may very well explode with my undying love for him. I just want to breath him in and never lose him.
And yet even when i know this and love it--some nights i just want to hurry bedtime. And of course that is human and each day is different. We aren't robots and some days call for different things. But reading these stories have just reminded me, once again, that very important detail we sometimes miss in a day. Time. Touch. Freedom. Purity. Togetherness. Peace. Safety. Love. No agenda. Just presence with one another. Something not everyone has the luxury of giving. Something we would miss tremendously--if it were ripped from us.
Today my heart broke for the boy who longed for his Momma's loving touch but...... it wasn't there. For the boy who had to smell death in the air as he watched the black smoke billow from the crematorium. For the boy who endured so much suffering for no good reason.
It reminds me, again, to look at my kids like the gifts that they are. The treasure that i hold so dear to my heart. Because when it all comes down to it--without the human connection--we have nothing.
The time we waste chasing dreams, pursuing goals, furthering education, climbing up the corporate ladder, chasing the almighty dollar, taking care of #1--that all pales in comparison to our love and our flesh. Our family.
And i, for one, want my kids to always know my touch. To long for it when they are scared. To reach for it in when they are hurt. To look to it for love. And I pray they are always able to find it.
Because, to me, nothing else in this whole wide world, even comes close to the enormity of that weight. The weight of being their Mom.
I wouldn't trade my job as Mom for anything in this whole wide world. Because if we lost our house--it would be a bummer. If we had no car--that would stink. If Jeromy's job was gone--it would be hard.
But i would lose it all--just to be able to put my hand on my children's cheek to reassure them of my love.
Because what if i lost that ability??
Oh how I would spend my whole life regretting those precious moments that i had missed....