If you're part of the parent-blogging community, you'll be fully aware of the recent loss of the beautiful Matilda Mae, daughter of Jennie from Edspire. I hadn't intended to write a blog post about Matilda as many people have done this already, and put down their words far more eloquently that I could ever do. However Matilda Mae taught me a valuable lesson the other night and I want to thank her.
On Sunday we had a rotten day with my 5 year old son. He can be trying at the best of the times down to his stubborn and independent nature, however deep down I know he's a good boy and so much better behaved than his peers. He's incredibly cute and the most affectionate child I've ever known - he just knows how to push buttons, you know? There were tears and tantrums, numerous scoldings and the day ended up with him sobbing his little heart out over his dinner. He was hurting and I was probably harsher on him than I should have been. All in all, he didn't have a great day. None of us did.
Bedtime came around and we had a little kiss and a cuddle before I tucked him up. I always check on my children before I go to bed, it's a routine I got into when they were babies and even now they are 5 and 7, I still do it. Lately I've been thinking about Jenny and Matilda at this time.
I went in to his bedroom and he was lying there, so peaceful, so angelic, not making a sound. I actually put my hand on his chest to check he was still breathing (this isn't a new development, I've always been a bit twitchy with him but that's a story for another time). He was fine, just in a deep sleep but I sat down next to him and looked at his little face - he looks so much like a baby when he's asleep. I thought about what a dreadful day it had been for him and then I thought about Matilda.
Matilda was taken unexpectedly and there but for the grace of God, go any of us.
I sat reflecting on the day quietly. What if Sunday had been his last day on earth? How awful would that have been. How would I ever have lived with the fact that he'd spent the day being so unhappy. I'd made my son cry whilst eating his dinner, over a small piece of homework which at the end of the day is neither here nor there. It's just not that important and our children are SO precious. Life is fragile.
Whilst sitting there I made a resolve to never spend a day like that again and to never send him to bed upset or with his feelings hurt. I don't think any of us can ever really avoid getting cross with our children but I can learn to manage my emotions and the way I deal with these things better.
Matilda Mae, without knowing it, has given me a gift. She has a taught me such a valuable lesson and that is to cherish every single moment with my children. When they want to play with me, I shall try hard not to dismiss them because I'm too "busy". I'm going to try not to sweat the small stuff, to remember, yes they are tiny but they have feelings too and to always make sure everyone goes to bed happy.
Because of Matilda Mae I am going to endeavour to make each day count.
For Matilda Mae.
Sleep softly beautiful girl.
Money is being raised for Bliss in Matilda's name - you can find out more about the fund here.