On our drive home the other day, my son asked me, “Mom, what has been the saddest moment in your life?”
My answer was easy. “The day my mom died, Honey.”
Then he asked, “What was the happiest moment of your life?”
And, again, my answer was easy, “the day you were born.”
Sean and I then agreed that the day I married his dad would be a close second. 🙂
Then I asked him the same questions. “So, what has been the saddest moment of your life?”
I was curious what his answer would be. Perhaps, he would recall a day on the playground when he felt left out. Or maybe, a day in his life that didn’t meet his expectations.
But his answer surprised me,”Mom, I don’t think I’ve had the saddest moment of my life yet.”
I found his answer beautiful. His life, this far, has been joyful and happy and carefree. And, after hearing his answer, I rejoiced over this fact. I also rejoiced because my son seemed to understand, that in his almost 8 short years on this earth, nothing in his life could be defined as the saddest moment.
As I thought about this, I also grieved. I grieved for children in the world whose reality is greatly different than my son’s experience. Kids who have experienced sexual or physical abuse. Kids who have experienced the death of one or both of their parents. Kids who have experienced abandonment or extreme poverty. Many kids would not be able to arrive at the same conclusion as my son did.
For some reason, this conversation with my son brought to mind the pictures of these little children. Below, are pictures of some of the children from my last mission trip to the Dominican Republic. Each time our team goes to the DR, we visit some of the poorest areas to deliver rice and beans to the families living there.
I have no idea if these kids have a memory in their life yet that can be defined as their saddest moment but I do know that their lives have been so much harder than my life and my son’s life.
This first picture is of a little girl who was home alone, her parents would be gone all week. They were out working to support their family. I wonder if this is the saddest moment in this little girl’s life so far. I wonder if she even realizes how sad her situation is. This is her life. This is what she knows. I wonder if she is just grateful for a chair to sit in, a roof over her home, and neighbors to look in on her while her mom and dad are away.
I am thankful for the easy life my son has had. I am thankful he understands that nothing in his life this far comes close to being the saddest moment.
Oh, and by the way, when I asked my son what his happiest moment in life had been he responded, “The time I went to Fun Forest and played with all the other kids there and we pretended our sticks were weapons and we chased each other.” Now that answer didn’t surprise me!