Last week, I read Grace's reflection on whether she would go back to her pre-baby days if she had the chance. It is a beautiful piece which reflects her love for her children, and her love for her vocation.
|Romeo and I at my college graduation|
But I wouldn't go back to those days. It was a time of transition, a joyous time that is meant to be fleeting.
|At our wedding reception, September 2009|
We thought it would take months for him to find a job in the smallish town to which we'd be moving. But two weeks later, not able to refuse an offer--one he may not have the chance to receive again--he was packing up as much as he could in his little car and driving through the December snows to start his new job in our new town. We faced nine months of living apart as newlyweds.
|Making cornmeal blintzes for my Blue Christmas party.|
Such a nerd.
On the other hand, those nine months are what I consider my pre-baby days because I was free to do anything I wanted: I could go out with friends, I could keep my own schedule, I didn't have to worry about Romeo using my towel (one of my biggest pet peeves!). But I was still married, madly in love, with all the comforts of that in my heart. I was a newlywed-single. And I did a lot of things for myself.
|On our actual honeymoon|
But I wouldn't go back to those days either; for all the fun I had on the outside, I was so lonely without my husband, and I could barely stand going to Mass without him. I did, of course, because it was then that I needed Jesus to be my true spouse the most. Many nights I cried myself to sleep because I longed for my husband.
Then, on one of my trips to see Romeo, we became pregnant with Little A. We still had six months of separation to go. It was decided that I would stay in Seattle, regardless of pregnancy, because I couldn't get on Romeo's health insurance until the baby was born, and I had excellent medical care through my job. I was beyond excited to be pregnant, even though it meant I'd be starting graduate school at 26 weeks, and giving birth over Thanksgiving break, but I was devastated that I wouldn't share the everyday ins and outs of pregnancy with my husband. When I would come home to visit, my bump showing a little more each time, he would gasp, "It's really real!"
Once again, my friends were so good to me; they paid me much attention, and held a baby shower, and listened to my hormonal fits, and rejoiced over Little A's first movements in the womb. They helped me steer clear of unpasteurized cheese and ordered me mock-tails when we went out for St. Patrick's day. They didn't even give me any crap when I fell asleep at my good friend's bachelorette party....at 10:00 pm.
But I wouldn't go back to those days because, while they were fun, and we did the best we could, it was somewhat out of order, not having my husband there with me during pregnancy. God sent me so many saints during that time, by unexpected means, from the Costco delivery man where I worked (a strong Catholic man with seven children, whose wife invited me to their home for Easter dinner), to my supervisor at Blessed Sacrament parish, where I taught confirmation class, and all the people in between who reflected excitement about my pregnancy and helped me to keep my chin up through my husband's absence. Nonetheless, I wouldn't go back there now.
|Me and Little A at her baptism|
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11
As tempting as it sometimes is to wish ourselves out of our time and place, the Lord's way has purposely put me here. You can bet that when RG died, and I was in the throes of that whole mess, I wished it wasn't happening to me. I wished it was a year from now, so that I wouldn't have to live every moment of that grief. I wished I was anywhere but there. And some days I miss my Seattle friendships so badly that I wish I could just--poof!--be back there. And, and, and, and. But I am here. I can't go anywhere but here. And that's as it should be. Otherwise I deny the Lord his chance to bear fruit through me in this time and in this place, giving my fiat to Him in every moment.