Thursday, February 28, 2008

From Kelly Lovejoy in South Carolina

The "tag line" of the accountability association I run in SC to allow families to homeschool is "Childhood is NOT a dress rehearsal."

Unfortunately, I get reminded of this every now and then. Not that I don't need to be reminded. It's just that I wish I weren't reminded in such a harsh way.

I think most traditional, conventional parents think of something different when they hear or read it. I think they start considering that we only have this one chance to push our children to do better, to be better, and to strive harder for that medical degree or career choice or..."success" or whatever.

That's not the message I get.

I've been thinking about what to write now for several days to honor the memory of Hannah Jenner, who died two years ago on February 24. I'd wanted to toss out there that we really DO only have so much time to spend with our children---and even though we think have the rest of their lives to do and be with them, there's no guarantee that they won't be taken from us a whole lot sooner than we think. The time they spend with us should be full of joy and fun and happy, happy thoughts. Their time with us should be filled with our joy in them--that they know that our world is a better place because of them.

Hannah's short life is a tough reminder for me to enjoy the children I have--and every single minute. And not a day goes by that I don't think of Hannah (and Sam Wilkerson and Jacob Strebler). 'Cause I just don't know what I would do without Cameron and Duncan. But sometimes, when I'm not my best and my temper is short, I need that little reminder--that this time is a gift.

Too often, parents can work so hard helping our children "become" that we forget to enjoy Who They Are--right now, this minute.

Lisa Heyman's passing on Monday has stunned this community. And I just can't imagine the pain and loss the Gauchmans are experiencing right now. But I know that the girls, Roxy and Fire, will know that their mom truly valued the time she had with them. She chose to keep the girls close and let them grow "In Their Own Way, In Their Own Time."

That's a gift we can ALL give our children. To accept Who They Are--and to revel in it!

We have that choice.

Lisa understood that childhood is not a dress rehearsal. Lisa worked hard to give her girls the space they needed to grow. She gave them inspired, joyful childhoods. There's not a doubt in my mind that Roxy and Fire will thrive in spite of their huge, huge loss. And a big part of that is the love and acceptance Lisa showered on them. They will be kept warm with her light.

Her passing will continue to be a reminder that my time with my kids is limited as well. I can choose to make the most of each moment with them as she did. Our world is brighter because of Lisa. And I'm glad I got to know her.

Much Love and Many Hugs to Larry and Roxy and Fire.


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