It’s late. It’s quiet. None of my children are here in the house tonight; they are all settled in where they are staying now, for the time period I’ll be away in India.
I’ve been crying on and off this weekend. No one knew, expect my husband. I haven’t been away from my children for so long before, and, although I’m excited about the trip ahead of me, I’m dreading it too. It’s not so much I’m worried about my kids, or even myself — God knows — it’s just…I’ll be so far away, and I feel the weight of a mother’s love.
I’ll carry this picture with me.
This is my son. And I want to tell you the insignificant, yet precious story behind the photograph. It was just last week, on a rare afternoon when Matt was able to do the school pick up with me. I parked the car along the suburban street, close enough to the Kindergarten, and my husband disappeared up the road and around the corner; he was to surprise our son. I remained in the car, quietly enjoying the solitary moment while browsing on the iPhone.
Then, it occurred to me, I wanted to be there when my husband and son came around the corner. I wanted to invest in this moment. I wanted to see them together and imprint the memory, intentionally, like a stamp on my mind. So I stopped what I was doing. I got out of the car. I crouched down, with my knees close to the grass. And I waited.
This is what happened.
My son saw me before my husband did. He ran. He ran to me from a way off. How wonderful is it to have a camera with me so often, to capture some of these sweet moments!
He ran with his arms stretched out and his face sparkled with joy. Can you see it?
He threw himself at me.
Then, he turned, and ran back to his dad, who lifted him up high, and my heart swelled as they returned to me, together.
So much love in these moments, my heart hurt. It hurts. There is pain in love. But so much joy.
This memory, these images are a gift, and I’ll carry them close. I’ll go to India, because this opportunity, this burden, this privilege, has been given to me, and many children around the world don’t have the opportunities my children take for granted. Every. Single. Day. Perhaps in some small way, I can be a voice for those children whose smiles may not come so easy.
These pictures are a manifestation of the love I have in my heart for my family, and I take this heart of love with me as I go.
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