When I drop Emeth off at Sunday School every week, I would walk by the nursery and usually, the kind ladies there would offer to take Yohanan for the hour while I am in service.
Here would be my Top 3 responses, in no particular order, and always with a smile:
1. Oh! Thank you, but he is asleep right now, and I don't want to take him out of the sling.
(which would be true)
2. Oh! Thank you, but he was sick this week; I think it would be better if I keep him.
(which would be unfortunate, but also true)
3. *Dashing in and out of that hallway really fast before anyone could offer help*
This likely happens most frequently. And until yesterday, I haven't given much thought to my "rush." I am mainly avoiding having to turn down people's kindness, something I loathe doing.
Before you start thinking that I am the kind of mom who can't "let go," I just want to say that I have I handed Yohanan over to them. Once.
But yesterday! Yesterday, I had a glorious moment of truth. The reason for my inner-turmoil-in-the-hallway finally dawned on me. I don't know why I hadn't realized this before.
Ladies: Hi! Let us take him today and you can relax during the service.
Me: Oh! Thank you!
(thinking) Uh-oh, he is awake. And he is not sick.
(out loud) That's OK, I don't want to trouble you! (always with a smile)
Ladies: No trouble at all! Please let us take him! (holding out their hands)
Me: No, that's OK. (and then I said) If I leave him here, I will miss him!!!
Ladies: You'll miss him? But... aren't you with him... all the time?
*confused stare* (they had nothing left to say to this crazy mom)
I will miss him! So simple!
I was laughing inside for the first half of the service.
What a relief it was for me to say it out loud. To finally understand myself.
Before motherhood, I was never one who thought children were adorable. I liked them, and thought they were interesting, but they were like any other interesting people. When I was pregnant with Emeth, I had the most difficult time mustering up any kind of noble thoughts about becoming a mom.This did not change when he was finally born.
"Mother" was definitely not among the professions I was looking into when I was dreaming about growing up. It was not that I didn't want to be a mom, but it wasn't among my youthful considerations. This seems like a huge oversight now.
So you can imagine what a happy thing this was for me. To realize how much I love being with my children. To realize that I love being a mom. These are pleasant surprises for me.
Emeth is at the age now (almost 3) that I enjoy sending him out into the world (yes, even if it is just Sunday school) to explore and learn about others. And I know that Yohanan will soon follow. It makes me smile to think about the two brothers going off to explore the world together.
For now, let me just hold my baby.
Apparently, I would miss him when he is not with me.