[By L.R.Knost, author of Two Thousand Kisses a Day: Gentle Parenting Through the Ages and Stages]
Four years ago today I lost my son, Sammy.
Someone once asked me how you get over losing a child. I told them you don’t. It becomes part of who you are, how you view others, how you interact with the world. A part of me is and always will be broken.
But there is value in brokenness, as in every experience in life. I know how precious every smile, every giggle, every hug, every tear, every moment is I get to share with each of my children. I know how brief and fragile life can be. I know every sacrifice I make as a mother, whether it’s sleep or convenience or money or time, pales in comparison to the gifts I get in return.
I spend literally thousands of hours every year researching and studying and writing to bring you the best of the best parenting resources, information, and support. But the lessons I’ve learned over more than 25 years of parenting through life and loss are of far greater value than research. I’m living, day in and day out, the things I share with you, not just quoting studies and theories.
And today I’m living through loss, and I’m hurting, and I want to share that with you, too. I want to share it because I want you to look into your child’s eyes and smile today. I want you to focus on the irreplaceable, unique, wonderful person you’ve been blessed with growing and guiding for such a short season. And I want you to remember to enjoy your little one, to treasure them, today and every day.
We don’t all have to experience loss to appreciate life. Sometimes others’ experiences can give us that gift more gently and peacefully.
So that’s what I lend to you today, these hard-won, tear-washed, loss-colored glasses that bring into breathtaking focus the miraculous, extraordinary, priceless gift of a child. ♥
L.R.Knost is a best-selling parenting and children’s book author and founder and director of Little Hearts/Gentle Parenting Resources, an online resource for gentle parenting education, articles, and research. Books by L.R.Knost include Whispers Through Time: Communication Through the Ages and Stages of Childhood , Two Thousand Kisses a Day: Gentle Parenting Through the Ages and Stages , and The Gentle Parent: Positive, Practical, Effective Discipline the first three books in the Little Hearts Handbook gentle parenting series, as well as her children’s picture books Petey’s Listening Ears and the soon-to-be-released Grumpykins series available from Amazon and other major retailers.