I was nannying on Friday and, since it was a game day for Kevin, Brayden was with me. He loves spending time with his four-month-old “girlfriend” and was thrilled that her older sister was with us on this particular afternoon as well. I wore a smile on my face as I watched them happily interact on the floor, but there was a lump in my throat.
Brayden looked up at his five-year-old playmate and flashed his new and improved smile. Head back, nose scrunched with lips curled above his gums. She put her foot onto his foot and they both giggled. “Look, Sarah,” she said through her laugh, “It’s a Toe Hug!” With that, my eyes welled with tears.
Five years old. She seems so big compared to Brayden and her infant sister. But she is still a baby herself. Completely and totally innocent, blissfully unaware of any dark side to her seemingly perfect world. She knows what it means to trust and to love. She understands happiness and finds wonder in the little things like making her sister smile, sipping apple juice through a swirly straw, and giving toe hugs. What more is there?
I’d heard about what happened in Connecticut before I’d left for work. I couldn’t bear to watch the news, and I haven’t been able to since. I don’t care about the man responsible. I don’t need details about how it happened. I especially don’t want to hear about how this is a case for more guns or how this is what is deserved for taking religion out of the classroom. The only thing I want to do is pray. I can’t stop thinking about all the people affected, all of whom I have never met. I feel love for those individuals who gave their lives trying to protect the lives of others. My spirit is heavy with the loss of all those beautiful, innocent children and I’m aching for all the families who are suffering from this senseless tragedy. No words can undo the devastation of what happened, but I’ll keep holding the victims and their loved ones in my heart. And I’ll keep hoping that this world is actually wonderful, like it is through a child's eyes.