Last week, when we returned from Rome, I expected total fallout with the boys. I had never left any of the kids for longer than 5 days before and with Aiden and Dawson experiencing some serious separation anxiety lately, I expected to really pay for our absence.
Much to my surprise, last week was fantastic. They were happy to see us when we stepped off the plane. I took them to school two days later and neither shed a tear. We went to the Y - nothing. I even left them with a sitter Saturday night and still - nothing.
Hallelujah! I rejoiced and thanked God profusely. This was nothing short of a miracle. It seemed as if God was really rewarding me for all those prayers overseas.
Then came Sunday. I took Aiden to the nursery at church and it was a knock down, drag out battle. He was kicking and screaming and throwing himself everywhere. I threatened to no avail. I stood outside and was late for mass because I couldn't leave the building until I knew he settled down. And within five minutes, if not less, he did.
It would be one thing if he was scared of these places. He's not. I could understand if he didn't like going. He does. I would get it if he had been injured or hurt in some way. He hasn't. Fact is when I pick him up, he is always happily playing and having a great time.
Today he did it again at the Y. Now that I don't have the trip guilt hanging over my head, I see this for what it is - a battle of the wills. And, boy, does he have a strong one.
I refuse to lose this battle. Yes, I at times feel defeated. Yes, there are often battle scars to mend. And yes, I think long and hard about giving up completely. But I will keep the faith. I will fight the good fight. I will NOT give up.
This is my duty as his mother is it not? It's my God-given responsibility to mold his little soul. Part of that is learning the lesson that you do not always get what you want...especially when you're three. I have to assume that it's easier to deal with it now than when he's a teenager. Even though these battles wear me out and often lead me to tears, I do not want to lose him, now or ever. I love him too much.
Today, I am convinced that God sent me an angel to confirm this message. I was standing out in the hallway by the nursery at the Y listening to my child scream and knowing that all the other mothers going in and out must be thinking that I'm terrible to leave a child like that, or even to have a child like that. I was defeated and humiliated. Then she came.
I swear to you that she came out of nowhere. I did not see her go in or come out of the nursery door. I have been a member of this Y for 6 years and have gone faithfully three to four days a week the whole time. I had never seen this woman before. Just as the tears were welling up in my eyes she put her hand on my shoulder and said, "Just go exercise. He's going to be fine."
I turned to see a radiant face framed by golden hair. She had a baby in her arms and looked at me with complete empathy and compassion. I started to explain my battle and she nodded knowingly and said again, "It's going to be okay. Go ahead and exercise. He'll be alright."
I know that in the future, I'll probably see that mom again. But I'm telling you, even if I had seen her every day for the last 6 years, I would still swear that God sent her as an angel to me today.
I needed that warm hand, those kind words, that compassionate face. I needed that right then and there and God knew it. Today I have a new resolve to stand my ground on the battle field and I know it’s because of God’s grace and the angel mom he sent my way.