I love being a mommy.

I just put Lego to bed. This involves a bath, followed by lotion, diaper, and pajamas. Then I transfer him to Jon Boy, who reads him a book and brushes his teeth (we switch jobs every other night).

After that, Lego and I go into the dark bedroom to nurse. While he eats, I listen to the sounds of him swallowing, knowing that I am both nourishing him and comforting him with my body. I hold or stroke his hands. I smell his freshly washed hair and look at the lovely curve of his baby cheek in the faint light. I rub his back and then cup the back of his head, just above his neck, in my hand. His head is so small, and the hair on it is so fine and soft.

When he finally falls asleep, I climb out of bed and lift him so that his head rests on my shoulder and my arm fits under his butt and legs. His limp weight rests on me, and I relish the snuggle that he is usually too wiggly to give me when he’s awake. I put him in his crib on his back, and he inevitably rolls over to lie in a kneeling position, his head turned to one side. Once he does this, I put on his blankets and give him a kiss.

These are the moments I will remember when he is grown, not the temper tantrums or the times when I said no and he didn’t listen. These are the moments that make it all worthwhile.


Lego turns one today. All of Jon Boy’s immediate family are coming over tonight to celebrate with cake and whatnot. Before they come, I need to clean everywhere, do the dishes, make a cake, frost the cake, and empty out Lego’s dresser, which we’re swapping for one that his parents have. Not too bad a list on a normal day, but I’ve been sick a lot in the past week, so I’m terribly behind. Luckily, I spontaneously felt better on Monday and didn’t have to go to the doctor, so I got some of the catch-up work done on Monday and Tuesday.

Still, I woke up at 6:00 this morning to a sink full of dishes, a living room full of toys, random objects, and papers, and a hyper baby. (He must know it’s his birthday.) And I had a UTI. “Okay,” I thought. “I can do this. I may not feel great, but at least I’m not bedridden. I just need to pace myself.”

I started off by making the cake and picking up some of the clutter in the living room. By noon I felt much, much worse. I don’t want to go into gross details, but it became obvious that I needed to get on antibiotics ASAP, and my ambitions for the day came to a screeching halt. I’d cleaned up some, but Lego was rapidly undoing all my work. The dishes were still undone, the cake was still unfrosted, and the dresser was still full of stuff. If I stood, I immediately had to go to the bathroom, so I just sat in a chair and called both Jon Boy and my mom to whine. Would I have to cancel the birthday party? How on earth would I get ready for it if I couldn’t even stand?

First things first. I set an appointment with a doctor for 3:00. I figured that between the three friends I have in my neighborhood, somebody would be able to watch Lego while I was gone. Not so. The first friend had to go to her job at 4:00, which probably wouldn’t be enough time for me to get back. The second friend was sick and had a very sick husband. The third friend was going to the zoo all afternoon with her younger sister.

I thought about taking Lego along with me, which wouldn’t be ideal but might be feasible. Then I remembered my visiting teacher. She has never actually visited me, but she listened at Christmas when I was frustrated with Jon Boy’s lack of employment and our lack of funds at Christmastime, when I wanted to be generous. She had offered once upon a time to watch Lego if I needed her. I had no idea whether she worked during the day, but I gave her a call.

She came over early and cheerfully. When she found out why I needed to go to the doctor, she asked if she could help with anything else. I said no. She noticed my sink full of dishes (how could she not!?) and offered to do them while I was gone. I told her not to worry about it because the dishwasher was full of clean dishes, and she didn’t know where they belonged. I left in a hurry.

I got home a little over an hour later to a very happy baby and a sink full of clean dishes. Now all I have to do is frost the cake and pick up my prescription (the doctor readily agreed with me that I needed it). And now that Lego is asleep, I will be able to frost the cake in peace, maybe even have fun doing it.

I think she might have been the answer to the hasty little, “Help me to do everything I need to do today even though I feel yucky,” prayer I said this morning. Thank God for visiting teachers who are there for you when you really, really need them.