I know people wonder if I want to be around children. They wonder if it is too painful. It is so painful...but everything is painful. It is not just children that remind me of Jonah, but Walmart, and our car, and every picture and toy I have in my house, and the sounds of dogs barking. Everything. There is no escaping the things that make me think of him, and I don't want to stop thinking of him. I have accepted that the pain I feel is the price of memory.
Despite the pain I long to be with children. I love their honest and direct questions. I love that a child will hug me without hesitation. I love that they don't pass judgement. I love that my nieces and nephews talk about Jonah so freely. I love the simple drawings and flowers they make to brighten my day. I love that they don't know what is "proper" or "acceptable" behavior. Children act immediately and without fear of judgement.
I wonder what Janice's mother would have thought of such a question. Would she have apologized on her daughters behalf for being too personal. Or maybe gently pulled Janice aside to remind her about being polite. I hope not...I hope she would have waited patiently for my answer, like Janice, expressed her love, and then praised her daughter for reaching out to someone in need.
Mark 10: 13-16 And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them. But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein. And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them.