What If Today Is All We Have With Our Children?

A few months ago, I asked my husband what he remembered most about his mother, who had passed away 10 years earlier. He paused for a moment and said, “How much she loved me.”

That is so simple, so sweet, so beautiful. His mother definitely did her job while she was here on this earth.

And that thought is with me as I think about the tragedy in Connecticut. How many mothers kissed their babies goodbye that morning, only to never see them smile again. How many dads tickled their kids on their way downstairs to breakfast, only to realize now that was the last breakfast they would have with their kids.

Am I doing enough to make sure I am paying attention to the NOW?

So often I’m at least a week ahead mentally. On Sunday night I’m thinking about the upcoming week and washing clothes and doing hair and packing lunches. I’m thinking about weekend plans and what I need to do to get ready for them. I’m always two steps ahead of the now.

I could stand to be more present.

On Friday I happened to be at my daughter’s school, chaperoning on a field trip with another group of kids, when I heard about the shooting. When I read that 20 children—babies, really—died under a hail of bullets in what was supposed to be the safe confines of school, all I could think was that I wanted to get to my children. I needed to hug them and squeeze them and make sure they were okay.

And that ride home from school, when I’m usually tired and fussing at them for being too loud in the backseat, just felt different. I drove a bit more carefully. I laughed more. I felt more “blessing” and less “burden.”

If any good can come out of that tragedy, it’s that we all are reminded that today is all we have.The giggles at the breakfast table. Dancing along to the radio in the car. Telling your kids to quiet down in the grocery store. That’s all we have—the “now.”

Will you be parenting differently in light of the tragedy in Connecticut? How did you feel when you heard the news?


  1. This shooting was a sobering reminder to cherish what and who you have. My father died 10 years ago and a day doesn’t go by without him crossing my mind. I still miss my daddy and I would give my right arm and leg to have him for one more day. Hell, even one more hour or minute. He dropped me off at my middle school the morning he died and I came home to my mom telling me he was gone. You never know what the next moment brings. Cherish and love your loved ones while they’re still here.

  2. I honestly felt sick to my stomach when I heard this news. My heart is truly broken for each and every family affected.
    I try to live in the moment every day when I am with my girls. My oldest has a serious medical condition, which it was not a certainty that she would survive birth, or any of the 3 heart surgeries she has had. I am very familiar with the idea that tomorrow is not promised with any of our kids. I look at her (both of them really) every day and thank God they are here with me another day (and please give me patience cuz they driving me crazy).

  3. I’m at home at the moment and I’m looking at CNN and I’m getting so irritated and piss off because I’m tired of hearing about “gun control” thats not solving the underlying problem…the issue is mental health…that killer and ALL the other killers had mental health issues. They need to eliminate these gun shows that you go in and buy any gun you want….nomore of kids being able to hunt at any age and shoot in the backyard (country ohio)…..i’m just overly upset because at the end of the day this isn’t going to be the last shooting…its sad but true…

  4. Things like this make me hurt. For a few seconds I couldn’t breath as I listened to the radio.
    That Monday following the shooting I kept my daughter home from school (senior kindergarten) and spent all day with her. Probably not the best thing to do, school is very important, but I couldn’t stand the thought of her being out of my sight. I can be a little paranoid, too. Since Sidney was born I couldn’t stand the thought of leaving her without kisses and hugs, and a “see you soon” because for some strange reason I feel it’s bad luck to say goodbye (goodbyes feel like forever).