My two-year-old son, James, is picking up words like a little scholar. He puts them together into coherent thoughts and combinations, too. I knew this day would come, so I wasn’t too worried, though the doctor did tell me to keep an eye on things. He said if James wasn’t stringing together two- and three-word sentences by April 1 to come back in and discuss the idea of speech therapy. I said, “Sure thing! Anything to help, if that’s a concern…” Well, no need to, in the end.
So the other morning, when he awoke at an unexpected time (do toddlers know that mommy is about to lose sleep with a newborn and torture you for the last half of pregnancy?!), we were talking about saying goodbye to daddy because he’s going to work. Yep, we were up THAT early.
J: “Daddy work.”
Me: “Yes, James, daddy is leaving for work.”
J: “Daddy truck. Daddy work.”
Me: “Yes, baby, daddy goes to work in his truck, that’s right!”
J: “Mommy work?”
Me: “You’re my work baby.”
He smiled. I teared up. My breath caught for moment. Felt like I had water splashed on my face (and that’s not literal, though it has happened at the kitchen table!).
Within the last year and one-half, I have been a “working full-time” mom (director at a non-profit organization), a “working part-time-from-home mom” (phone sales and other nonprofit work), and now a “full-time (unemployed) stay-at-home mom.” And yet this was the first time I ever truly felt like I heard my goal. My mission statement. And I didn’t just hear it… I said it.
It’s been four-ish months without an income, without any outside connection to an office or a supervisor. Four months of truly giving this a shot – and in those four months came thanksgiving, James’ baptism, Christmas, a new year, health concerns/finding out I’m pregnant, James’ second birthday, our third anniversary and remarriage in the Catholic Church, and then Easter (my confirmation, as I also entered into the Catholic Church).
And it took all of those amazing celebrations, church classes, and religious events/holidays to realize – that’s God speaking to me. My instant response to my son, one I’ve never ever spoken before, regardless of its simplicity, came from above.
I’m still trying to unpack it. Because I know it will be a lifetime job, a constant work in progress. A mission that may not even have an end goal because I don’t know His plan for me or for my son or for my husband or for my second son…. But I trust it. I trust Him… And I’ll loosen my control and surrender to Him. That’s all He asks, and sometimes it’s the hardest thing to do.
So James, you’re my work. My mission is to love, support and teach you the best way I know how – through grace, forgiveness, and fun. And above all things, my goal for you, son, would be to love Jesus our Lord with all your mind, body, and spirit. Let Him guide you, my love, just as I ask Him to guide me.
Now, we just need to hammer out salary and benefits. Let’s talk again before your little brother is born, yes?