My Wednesday Yoga instructor always ends and begins class with an exercise in breathing in and breathing out kindness, compassion and peace. Those words resonate with me for the entire week and often shape how I go about a day, how I address my cashier, how I help an elderly person on the train, how I offer a kind word or glance to a teen girl clearly feeling the weight of the world.
I may not always be a Pinterest-worthy, mother-of-the-year type mom, but I know I am doing a good job. A quick trip to the toy isle of Lot-Less (a Big Lots-type store in NYC) has really driven that point home. Sabine has been to so many doctors appointments in the past three weeks. Between her appointments and my appointments we have spent more time than I care to calculate sitting in waiting rooms and crinkling paper sheets – a very boring thing when the weather is warm and the sun is finally shining!
So this week I took Sabine to Lot-Less to pick out a new toy as a reward for being such a patient girl. She has been really into babies lately so I showed her the options.
“BABIES!!!” she cheered.
“What baby would you like to take home? You get to choose your new baby.”
She looked at her options – little kid dolls, Barbie-type dolls and newborn dolls – and made a selection. A small newborn baby doll that had a slightly creepy face and really wrinkly feet.
“Do you love this baby?”
“Baby!!!” she cheered as she reached her hand into the box and stroked the baby’s head.
“Ok, then this is your baby. Let’s go checkout!”
We purchased the baby and walked home. Since then, Sabine and baby have been inseparable. I heard her saying “Milk, Milk” and looked in to see her trying to shove baby into the top of her shirt to nurse it. I showed her how to lift her shirt and offer baby warm milk.
Then she carried baby to the nursing pillow and announced “MILKKKK!” (she really accents the “k” sound and it is adorable) and laid down with baby on the pillow.
She realized baby has a bellybutton and tickles it. She asks me to help change baby’s diaper. She dresses baby, rocks baby, puts baby to “nigh nigh” and brings baby to meals. She even brought baby into Home Depot and wedged it into the shopping cart with her.
I love seeing how nurturing she is with this baby, and with her animals and pets. She is so gentle, so caring, that it makes my heart explode. Yesterday I wanted to sing from the garden isle of Home Depot that yes, she might be tiny and she may be a tad delayed but my gosh if she is not the kindest tiny person you have ever met? And that, y’all, is what is going to make the real difference in the world. Not that she was an early talker or walker, but that she is kind, compassionate and peaceful.
I slept well last night and dreamt of happy days with my child. Now I’m going to go have a happy day.
Thank you all for the kind words and support during our tough time, and for the gentle reminders that there is more to life than diagnosis. It warms my heart to know that this is still a place I can turn to for wise words from women who have walked a similar path.