LJ was really struggling to go down for his nap today.  I went to lie down with him for a little while and just snuggle.  Here is a bit of our conversation –

Me:  “Sweetheart, I am sorry you are sad.  I don’t like it when you are sad.”
LJ:  “Why?”
Me:  “Well, it makes me sad when I see you are sad.”
LJ:  “Why?”  (It is a common word with him as of late.)

My immediate response was, “Because I love you very, very, very much.”  But it got me thinking about deeper things.

It is often said that a mother can only be as happy as her saddest child.  I gained a greater understanding of that when The Lion was first born and we spent a week in the hospital.  It was heart-wrenching for me because I had this new baby that was having to get poked and prodded and was miserable.  (Although, compared to what some parents have to go through, our story was a piece of cake.)  Then, LJ was at home with Grandma.  He would come and visit every day but seemed quite confused by the scenario and got to the point where he wouldn’t give me a hug.  I was torn and felt somewhat helpless in helping either one of them through their trials.  I remember Doug and I went for a walk and found ourselves on some couches in a quiet corner of the hospital.  With neither of the boys around and no nurses, I finally did not have to prove my strength to anyone or be strong for someone else.  I just sobbed and sobbed until the shoulder of his shirt was soaked.  I don’t think I have ever felt more empathy than I did at that time.  It really hit me how strong of an emotional connection exists between parent and child.

My conversation with LJ today got me thinking about it even more from a perspective of our heavenly family.  I am sure that my feelings of compassion for my boys are only a small fraction of the feelings of the Savior for us.  Certainly, he shares our sorrows (and our joys).  It is incomprehensible to understand the magnitude of his love for us but I’m sure his version would have an infinite amount of “very’s” when he stated that he loves us very, very…very, very much.  Definitely, that compassion and desire for happiness is born of deep and selfless love.

I am grateful for that small moment of enlightenment today where I began to understand a bit more about the Atonement.  I am grateful to know that there certainly is One who knows all of my sufferings and trials and who constantly has his arm stretched out to me to help me through the difficult times.  I am grateful for such amazing little boys who are continually teaching me divine lessons.