Mornings are chaos. As a working mom with two young kids married to an orthopedic resident whose gone way before my alarm goes off, mornings require me to muster all the brain-power, patience, and parenting power I have within me to get out the door. By the time I get both boys fed, dressed, in the car, out of the car, and get the oldest to his classroom, I feel like high-fives and exploding confetti would be appropriate for my accomplishment.
As I walk the youngest into the infant room, my pace slows and my heart gets heavier. No longer speeding up, I slow down. I slowly unbuckle him from his car seat and take off his blanket, hat, and pacifier clip. I pick him up and hold him close for one second more. Cheek-to-cheek, I breathe in that sweet baby smell, I squeeze him close, and whisper “I love you” one last time.
I love my job and I feel great calling and purpose in what I do. But that moment with my youngest in my arms is one of the hardest moments every day.
As I lay him down on the mat, I look around and see his “friends.” Several babies relax around him in bouncies, swings, cribs, and in the arms of the care-givers. Swaddled in blankets or dressed in Halloween pajamas, I can’t help but think about their parents as I look at those precious faces. They stood in my same place that morning and stood cheek-to-cheek and struggled to place down their baby and walk away. Now they are all around the city as they sit at desks, attend to customers, and care for patients. They are fulfilling their calling to care for the world and provide for their family while their pride-and-joy sleeps soundly here in this room. What they wouldn’t give to see their child like I see them right now.
I see the moms still recovering from carrying those little lives inside them. I see late-night feedings and questions of when a “normal” night of sleep will return. I see the dreams they have for their first Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas with their little one. I see their hopes for the future. I see their fears since Fragility now lives with them.
I see the care-givers faces and I know that they know – that this room is packed full not only of cribs, toys, and bottles but of hopes and dreams, deep love and profound fear. With one last deep breath and sweeping glance around the room, my heart sighs as I take it all in.
I see my youngest smile rolling around on the floor, I pause and give thanks – for a daycare I trust, for the gift of new life, and this brutiful life where I am called to both motherhood and ministry. And I go out into the world to serve a God who is big enough to call us to do both.