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beauty

mothering PARENTING READING

Where are the angels? A letter to my son

To My Darling Son,

The other night I was putting you to bed. We were reading The Jesus Storybook Bible, and we opened the book to the picture of the angel Gabriel coming to Mary and telling her that she was pregnant with a baby who would be named Jesus.

You sat with fascination, staring at the pages, eager to listen. I read about the angel and you pointed at its form, surrounded in light.

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Turning the page, you protested, “Where the angel go? Want to find the angel!”

I know you were telling me that you wanted to see the picture of the angel again, and we turned back a page so you could see the artist’s rendition of the celestial being once more. But I’ve been hearing your little voice saying those words ever since.

One of my biggest sadnesses is knowing that you are born into a world that will, sooner or later, disappoint you.

From the time I knew you were in my womb, I’ve been a mama bear, working fiercely to protect you. When we heard your heartbeat, I turned to your daddy with tears in my eyes and told him it was the bravest sound I have ever heard.

Every day you continue to bravely explore the world. And it breaks my heart to know that as you discover the world’s beauty, you will also discover the world’s pain. You will hear the stories of when hatred or bitterness or jealousy win over love and forgiveness and charity. You will have your own stories of these sadnesses.

I cannot protect you from this.

And so my hope for you is this: that you will never stop asking the question, “Where are the angels?”

When the pages turn, when the darkness comes, when the loneliness or the despair is close, and you cannot see the angels anymore, my prayer is that you never forget that not seeing them doesn’t mean they aren’t there. That the beauty is in every moment, even the most painful ones, if you keep on looking.

That day, reading the story, we kept turning the pages, and you saw the picture of a baby. And I told you the story of a baby named Jesus. A baby whose heart beat bravely like yours. A baby whose mother must have, like me, held him in wonder and awe. A baby whose life was also filled with joy and sorrow. A baby who shows us that love still wins in the end.

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Today I picked you up from daycare and you ran out into the cold April weather. You laughed when we stepped in a puddle. Looking up you pointed, and said, “Look, Mama, it’s RAINING!”

You are a constant reminder of what is beautiful in this world.  

I am so thankful I have a lifetime of looking for the angels with you.

I love you,

Mama

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