Today it was Em’s turn to visit Santa, but under different circumstances. She and I went to a cookie decorating party at the Chautauqua Park Meeting House to benefit There With Care, an organization that provides assistance to critically ill children and their families in the Boulder/Denver area. For a small donation, children got to decorate four cookies (graciously donated by Icebox Bakery), listen to holiday carolers and sit on Santa’s lap.
After decorating the cookies and spilling her wishlist to Santa, Em went to the craft table to make an ornament. It was then that I noticed the board listing the children that were to benefit from the proceeds of the event. There were about 25 of them, and they ranged in age from 3 months to 13 years old. Em chose to make her ornament for a three-year old girl named Aka, and wrote, “Merry Christmas. Feel Better. Love your friend, Em” on the ornament. Luckily it was time for us to leave after she was finished. I was prepared to go to the event and feel good about contributing to such a worthy cause. Instead, seeing actual names and ages of children made it so real to me that I felt like I had to run for cover.
I wanted to come home, scoop up my children and place them in a hermetically sealed protective bubble so nothing bad can ever happen to them. Of course I know this is not possible. I also know, from experience, that sometimes the worst things that happen to you turn out to be the best things, given time. Before I became a mother, I never understood that it would be more difficult to watch my children suffer and experience heartbreak than it was to endure it myself. That’s why it’s almost unimaginable to me what the parents of these ill children must confront, with courage and compassion, every day of their lives.
I also know: there is nothing I want for Christmas that hasn’t already been given to me.Categories: Family, Holidays · Tags: Christmas, Santa, stories about the kids