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As I write this I can’t help but feel a bit of anxiety.
We leave our (almost) 5 month old baby, Dudley, with his Nana and Papa this weekend so we can attend an annual floating trip with some good friends. It will be his first overnight anywhere but home (without me) and it will be for two full nights.
I feel sick typing this out.
I’m just a mess.
Not that I don’t trust his grandparents to care for him; they did raise their own two boys, and did a stellar job, I might add. But there is something about Moms and their relationships with their children; specifically when they are babies.
You know what I’m talking about Mama’s.
Will they know when to feed him for sure? And how much? Will he sleep for them? Can I know that they will remember everything I told them (which was A LOT)?
Ugh, why do I worry so much?!
I can tell you why. I know the difference between a hungry cry, a bored cry, and a tired cry. I can hold him in just a way that he’ll calmly go to sleep; his little head nestled firmly right under my chin against my neck. I know when he needs to nurse for comfort and when he eats because he’s hungry. I know how to make him laugh that belly laugh everyone loves to hear, especially me. When he’s playing, I know when he’s really interested in that one certain toy, just by the look he gives it. It’s like a special intuition we are given when we become a mother.
Now before you non-mom’s reading this think I’m selfishly bragging about my connection with my child. I’m not gloating, but I am proud of this bond. It’s something everyone will have to live with. This is just the honest truth. It will not change. I am his Mommy. I was sick while carrying him, yet was still ever so excited to meet him, I felt his first movements, I held him first – after working so hard to bring him earth-side, just like my oldest 2 children. These moments cannot be shared by anyone other than me.
As Mom’s, God let’s us know that we were chosen for our little one specifically. Among all the parent’s in the world, He decided long ago this little one would be held by you. He or she was uniquely brought to you to live life, and to live it well.
It’s interesting, though.
He created this little child to love me unconditionally, like our Father in Heaven loves us.
When Dudley looks at me and smiles he doesn’t see my faults and failures. He sees me for who I am: imperfect, broken, tired and struggling. He doesn’t care if I grumbled a little when he woke up the other night, as I JUST fell asleep, tired from the day. When he giggles as I tickle him or make silly noises at him, he isn’t laughing to please me, he’s truly experiencing a happy moment together with his Mama.The joy I see in his eyes cannot compare to anything else. When he cries as I hold him, and I’m able to calm him, or even if I am not, it still gives me the reassurance that I’m what he needs; that God sent him from above to be held in my arms only.
I don’t have to earn his love, or his approval.
I was born with it.
So leaving for 2 days may not seem like a big deal to some, but for a Mother it is so difficult. Especially for that first time.
Until then, husband and friends, while we are on our trip, please let me check in more times than I need to with the grandparents. Let me hover over the phone, making sure I haven’t missed a call from them, and let me talk about our boys while we are gone until it’s redundant. I’ll do the best I can to have a little fun in between, but I’ll need you to remind me it will all be okay.
I know it will be okay, but in the waiting, I’m going to be a mess.
I keep imagining what Sunday will be like when we walk through the door to get our kiddos. The older boys will come in and give me great big bear hugs (my favorite!) Then, I know I’ll rush right to the baby, sweep him up, smother him in kisses, hold him tight, smell him. And hopefully he’ll know it’s me.
No… He will know it’s me.
Because I’m his Mommy.