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My son came home from school one day and grabbed the dust pan and broom. I had wondered if this boy who rarely jumps into chores without my prompting had suddenly become responsible and independent during the course of the school day. As I was getting ready to sit down and congratulate myself for training him right, I heard him say, “Got it!” With that declaration, he grabbed a Ziploc bag from his pocket and carefully poured in the dust bunnies he had collected from under our couch. 

 

By the expression on my face, he could see that I was quite confused. “It’s for science,” he said. “We are studying what kind of stuff makes up dust. We’re dissecting it!”

 

I didn’t know if I should be proud or offended that he knew just where to find these suspicious little dust-bunnies. I thought that I’d been successful at keeping those little buggers hidden. When it was time to host a party or even just a friend or two, I would take great pains to go through the house collecting and eliminating these dusty little reminders that people actually live in my home. I much prefer creating the impression that my family is so squeaky clean and happy that even the dust bunnies don’t gather here. 

 

But my son knew better. He knew just where to find the shady characters. And now, he was going to dissect the very dirt that can expose me for what I am…a hider, a fake, a person who needed help. 

 

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Several weeks ago I learned that a young girl from my community was in a coma after losing control of her car on one of the icy streets nearby. Her family waits by her bedside, hoping she would awaken from a coma that threatens to steal her life. As a parent, as a Mom, I have to admit…this story has wrecked me.

 

I remember, as a young single woman, telling my father that I wasn’t sure I wanted children. He said, with teary eyes, that I would never understand the depth of love that he had for me until I had my own child. I have to admit, as many of us often do, that my father was actually right… so right in fact, that I repeat this story to my own children, hoping they will also understand the deep love that I feel for them.

 

Each afternoon, I walk to the end of our long driveway where I wait for my young son to get off the school bus. Although he pleads with me to “let him walk the driveway alone,” I can’t seem to make myself do it.

 

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We live on a very busy street, and in order for him to get to our driveway, he has to cross it. Even though the bus driver puts out the stop sign and the big steel arm in front of the bus to keep people from speeding by, I know that it’s possible that someone simply won’t be paying attention. And in this day of texting and distracted drivers, it is possible that someone might not see that stop sign and might hit my little boy as he crosses the street to get to me. Strangely enough, I have often imagined a frightening scene as I stand there waiting… that a car does miss the stop sign and comes barreling toward my son. In this imaginary scene, I jump out to stop the car and I am struck, but my son is safe. Such a concept is morbid, I know, and I have to remind myself, that it’s just my imagination going cuckoo. But when I think about it, I would gladly give my life if it meant saving my son. Anytime, anywhere. My love is that deep for that one who holds my heart.

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