A local radio station is doing a radio-a-thon to raise money for St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital.
My mascara lasted all of 5 minutes into my morning commute.
Not only did they share the stories, both sad and hopeful, of families who needed St. Jude's but they did it while playing sad country music songs. Songs that make me cry even without the heartbreaking stories of a small child's illness.
This happens every year. I'm caught off guard by the radio-a-thon. I cry. I donate a few bucks. I pray for the families that devastated by a child's illness. But this year was different. This year, through my sniffles and my tears I looked in my rear view mirror and glimpsed at a peaceful, sleeping, baby boy, nestled in his car sear, sucking on his thumb. My peaceful, sleeping, boy.
And I cried harder then I had in previous years. While I can't imagine what those parents are going through, now I understand the type of love they feel for their child. I have a small sense of the devastation they must be experiencing. I feel a stronger connection to their story. As a Mom, just the thought of something happening to my son feels like heavy weight crushing my chest.
When I looked at my sleeping baby I cried happy tears too. Tears of joy and relief that my baby is healthy. Tears because after he was born he got to go home right away. Tears that even a trip to the hospital at 3 days old only warranted an IV, some time under the bili lites and just one nights stay before he was healthy again.
He's only 5 months old and I know that maybe one day we could one of those families on the radio. While I did say a prayer that Max remain healthy, it's not something I let myself worry about. If it happens, we'll deal with it then. No sense in making myself sick over a "could be".
Still, when I dropped him off at day care, I hugged him a little tighter and held him a little longer before handing him over to his day care teacher. I gave him a few extra kisses before I left and I paused outside the classroom door for a few extra seconds before I went to work.
And when I got to work, I promptly redid my mascara.