Wednesday, October 31, 2012

On My Heart: A Mama Entry

Passing out candy for Trick or Treat--
don't worry, we weren't actually passing out half-eaten peanut butter sandwiches
Tonight Evelyn fell on her face on a hard tile floor and got a fat, bloody lip.  There was a Confirmation event at another local UCC, and because the only chance of me ever being introverted happens when I'm around children/teens between the ages of 11 and 17, I brought Evelyn with me.  She's my conversation starter.  She was chasing a balloon around their Fellowship Hall with her arms up in the air screaming "YAY!  YAY!  YAY!" and her socks slipped on the floor and she fell flat on her face.  I heard the sound of her mouth hitting the tile, and then the prolonged silence of breath-catching, and then...the wail.  

This isn't the first time Evelyn has fallen.  C'mon she's 14 months old and I'm not perfect.  There was the first time she fell off the bed, when she was 5 or 6 months old.  Then there was the time when she thought she could get off the bed the same way she gets off the couch, without realizing it's a foot taller.  There's every single time Nos walks passed her.  There are more times.  But this one...I don't know what it broke my heart.  I felt like the pain was in me.  I couldn't stop licking my teeth and biting my lip as if it was my own pain.  

Things have been different lately between Evelyn and I.  Now that I work full-time, there have been several nights when she goes to bed and I cry for a minute or two--she doesn't need me now like she used to.  And it's not about age (although maybe some of it is connected to her weaning), it's about how 6 months ago I had never been away from her for more than a couple hours.  I was with her all but 9 or 10 hours a week.  We were like one entity.  I didn't know what it felt like to miss her.  I hardly knew what it meant to be without her.  

Sometimes, it's hard for me to accept the change in roles-- like that she and her daddy spend all their time together instead of her and I, or that Maic knows her schedule better than I do, or that only he is able to put her to bed successfully.  But on the other hand it's nice because I don't take her for granted anymore (not that I ever really did).  Now, it's like an event when I come home.  She jumps up and down when I'm the one to go get her out of her crib when she wakes up from a nap.  She grins from ear to ear when I walk in the door.  She wants to sit in my lap and give me kisses when I host Bible Study at our house.  

Nobody will ever have the relationship with her that I have.  The deep intimate connection that happens between a mama and her baby has nothing to do with the amount of time we get to spend together.  I don't know why I'm writing this all out, except to just express some emotions-- some Pastor Mom identity issues--I'm having.  It's nights like this, when I get to spend the evening doing my job while being with my baby, that I realize just how abundantly blessed I am.  When she gets hurt and it hurts me physically, I realize the wonder and uniqueness of the relationship we have.  I want to just live in this moment, cherish her toddlerhood, and bottle up the pure joy we both have when I walk in the door and she yells to me in excitement (Fully admitting that she still yells "DADDDYYYY";  I take it as a compliment).

Her "cheeeeeese" face
This is what a doggie says 
Being a mom sure is an emotional endeavor.  I wouldn't recommend it to the fainthearted.  Thanks for reading a heart-felt post.  Little fat-lip is in bed now.  I think she'll be just fine.  

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