It's not been as hard as I feared. Walking out the door in the morning is the hardest part. It's like fighting against a gravitational pull to walk out the door & back the car out of the driveway. But, once I'm at work, the morning flies by. I forgot how much I love my students & how fun it is to be with them. I still miss Henry (a lot), and I'm SURE it will be a whole new challenge once I go back full time, but for now I think we're okay.
Leaving for those few hours each day has made me dwell a little more my relationship with Henry, and how surprised I have been by the emotional effects of becoming a mother.
I am truly taken aback by the way that I love Henry- a love that seems to not be of myself, a love that is outside of what I believe I am independently capable of. I am surprised at how much I long to be selfless in my relationship with him, and how deeply & strongly I feel the desire to stay physically close to him. It's not as if I worry about Henry when he is with David, I know that he will be fine, I simply want to be close to him. It is such a new experience, such a new and different kind of love. Different from the way I have loved my siblings or my parents or my husband.
It has really affected my relationship with God. When I first got married, I felt like as I learned to love David more & more, I learned a lot about how Christ loved me. It became more meaningful to read verses about how Christ loves the church with a passionate, pursuing love. I felt like my desire to be with David, to be close to him, and to be generous toward him gave me a new depth of understanding of God's love for me.
Now that Henry is here, I feel the same way. Up until now, I only understood parent-child love from the child perspective. But now, to think about how much I love Henry, how much I want to be with him and for him, how much I want to take care of him and protect him, it's such a powerful thing to realize that this is only a tiny shimmer of the reflection of the love that God has for me. I feel like for the first time I realize what it must mean that Christ loves me as a Father, and it has added a new depth to my relationship with Him, a new layer to my understanding of God.
Henry is completely helpless, for all practical purposes incapable of doing anything for himself or for me. I don't love him because he does things for me, he doesn't bring me more money or prestige, he doesn't make my life any easier (for sure!) I just love him because I do- the simple fact of his existence brings me so much joy. It is so comforting to think that God loves me the same way- not because I do great things for him, or because I'm a good person, or because I obey him, he loves me because he created me, because I am his child. He loves me in my helplessness, loves me when I am unable to give him anything in return.
David & met with our pastor this week to talk about the theology of infant baptism and to decide if it was something we wanted to do for Henry. Our pastor said something that I though was really beautiful & that I will paraphrase (very, very roughly, he was way more eloquent) to close...
When we baptize infants we are, in a way, reflecting what the Holy Spirit did for us. Just as Henry is unable to understand or claim the promises of Christ for himself, so once were we unable to accept Christ's covenant promises for ourselves. The Holy Spirit interceded for us when we were blind, deaf, and dumb in our sin. We had no agency, it was not of ourselves,we cannot boast. In the same way we step forth in faith and claim those covenant promises for Henry, when he cannot do so for himself. And then, we pray for the Holy Spirit to do His work.