By that I mean we are on a waiting list, because as any parent around here knows, there is no way to just waltz into one of those facilities and get a place for your child on the spot. Six month minimum wait, but I've heard of lists of up to 2 years.
Then we came home, I made flourless pancakes, we played, and I put him down for a nap. Pretty typical day until I started hyperventilating at the thought of what we had just done. To keep myself busy I cleaned the kitchen, sliced the chicken, and would have had dinner ready by 3pm if the onions did not make me cry, and think of how lucky my mom was because she had grandma who was my day-care, my teacher, my confidant, my second mom. Then more tears, those darn onions. And I mean really, who the hell sent me to live 6,000 miles away from my parents anyway. My mom would so love to take care of him, then I would not be in this predicament, thinking about leaving my baby in someone else's care, making dinner at 2:30 in the afternoon, and crying all over the onions. Those darn onions.
And the Oscar for best kitchen drama goes to...
I am aware I am not the first, nor will I be the last mother to return to work leaving her baby(ies), I am also keenly aware of how lucky I have been to take time off to spend the first year of my son's life raising him, not everyone has that luxury. Not in this country, anyway.
To top it off, I get to return to a job I love, to work with people I love and respect, so right about now you're probably wondering why I am whining.
The short answer is that Benjamin made me into who I was not.
The long answer is that God uses marriage and parenthood (if you allow Him) to make us more like Him, to bring us closer, to allow us to feel a glimpse of the infinite love He has for us. The last nine months have been a testament to this very change in our lives, and although at the beginning it felt as if I was drowning, slowly He's teaching me to navigate the waters of love.
A year ago I did not know how to make flourless pancakes, I thought that I would give birth and promptly return to work, and I sure as heck did not picture myself crying over onions because a part of me wants to stay home. I cannot be the only one who loves her baby and her career, right? RIGHT?
Contrary to what I thought would happen, I love being a mother because it has challenged every fiber of my being. Motherhood has brought out in me a confidence I didn't know I had. I never felt more beautiful than when I was pregnant, if I ever was self conscious about my body, growing a human, birthing a human, and now, feeding a human, took care of that really fast. On that note, feeding a human? Not easy, at least not for me, but I stuck to my guns. Motherhood made me tenacious, for when I should have given up, I did not. I recently heard of someone I barely know whose unborn baby has a very rare condition that will only give her 20% chance of survival when she's born. My heart broke, I dropped to my knees and prayed and I am still for that mama and her heart. Motherhood has connected me to people on a deeper level, it has made me more human. Now when I see people struggle, being bullied, feeling neglected, hated, discriminated against, my heart aches because I think that could be my son, what if he ever has to suffer like that? Now I speak up. Motherhood has made me a catalyst for change, it has made me brave.
I could go on.
I was reading Romans last week and this verse stayed with me:
This is why the fulfillment of God's promise depends entirely on trusting God and his way, and then simply embracing what he does. God's promise arrives as pure gift. - Romans 4:16 The Message
So we are trusting that He will use me, us, our family and the people we have become through this incredible gift of parenthood. We are willing to "live in the risky faith-embrace of God's action", we know the risk and we are all in, teary onions and all.
P.S. Even though this was written four hours ago, I am just getting to post it, because, you know, motherhood.