Monday, May 9, 2016

That time I cried because I saw a baby in church

I went to mass last weekend by myself for the first time since I have become a mother.  Alex was cantoring for the Vigil mass. I have tried doing mass on my own with the two kids a couple times before when he has cantored. I survived it, but just barely. I've been working on letting go of the need to DO everything. It's OK if I'm not a super mom who can do mass alone with her children. I don't need to be good at that.

So Alex went to mass by himself Saturday evening, and I went to mass by myself Sunday morning. And it was AMAZING!

Normally I feel strongly about having my kids in church with me. I grew up in a churches that had nurseries and cry rooms.  The babies were not in Church and I don't think that's the way it's supposed to be. Jesus said "let the little children come to me" and I think he meant it. I like bringing my children to church.  I like bringing them into the presence of Jesus.  I want them to start learning now that this is what we do, and this is what believe.  But all that being said, it sure was nice to go to mass all by myself and be totally focused. It would be A-OK with me if we make that a once a month thing.

Anyway, I was sitting there in church without my children, and I couldn't help but notice everyone else's children. Do you get that way? When you're away from your kids all you want to do is play with the other kids around you? Well, that was me Sunday morning.

While I was sitting there admiring all the other little tots around me, a young couple walked in and sat down at the end of my pew with a car seat. They got themselves situated and then pulled the tiniest, freshest little newborn baby out of that car seat, his legs curled up and his back arched, and his faced still a bit smushed. I looked at that new little baby and I started crying. Like, actually crying.

Maybe it was because I didn't have my children with me and I missed them.

Maybe it was because I'm beginning to feel like I could have another baby again. (Um...Did I just say that?)

Maybe it's because that tiny baby in all his newborn fragility, so perfectly formed and miraculously put together, reminded me of the fragile miracle of life. A friend has a miscarriage, another rejoices at a positive pregnancy test, my friend Laura is still grieving the loss of her own sweet girls. Our lives "are like a breath, our days are like a passing shadow." (Ps. 144:4)

 Maybe it was the completely enamored way his parents just stared at him all through mass, and the way I scooped up and loved on my own babies when I got home from mass. It's just the thinnest, faintest shadow of the absolutely extravagant way God the Father loves on us, His children.

I'm learning so much from being a mother. But mostly I'm learning how much God must love us.

Photo Cred: Bast Photography


  1. Beautiful! I totally know where you're coming from. I dislike being separated from my children (except for their beloved naptime which I will hold onto with an iron fist). ;)

  2. Oh, friend. This is so beautiful. I can't bear to look at babies right now, and I hate that my head turns away every time I see one. I know it's simply a fact of life for now; it's part of what my broken heart needs to protect itself from any more pain. But I long for the day when I can look at them again, too. Because they are such icons of the divine. And, as you say so beautifully, perfect reminders of how God sees and loves us, too.


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