Today I was a Christmas Grinch.
The last few weeks have been so overwhelming at work and I’ve felt so behind on the holidays. Our gifts got wrapped this morning, I baked two desserts (one for each house we were going to today and tomorrow), made breakfast and I breastfed all day long, plus got myself and the baby dressed.
We planned to get to church 30 minutes early for a 4pm mass (we’re practicing Catholics), and instead got there 10 minutes early after racing around to let the dog out and get ourselves plus the baby ready (after finishing all of the aforementioned chores). After parking what felt like a mile away from the church (the first sign of the impending disaster), we walked into the largest crowd I’d ever seen there. We go (almost) every Sunday and had never witnessed such a crowd. It was like a Beyonce concert if Beyonce went on tour for the last time, and only announced one stop on the tour, and decided that one show should be in a closet.
Like…where were all of you every Sunday all freaking year?
And then there were the seat savers. You know, those people who leave enough room between themselves and the end of the pew to fit a small elephant and when you ask to sit down they act like you’ve asked them to sacrifice their first born.
Anyway, that’s where my Grinchy mind was going.
So there were no remaining seats, and no one seemed inclined to offer me theirs despite the 15 pound baby in my arms, so we found some space to stand in the back of the church.
And I was huffing and puffing about the gall of my fellow parishioners for showing up after we hadn’t seen them all year before mass started. Grinchy, I know.
Then Hadley got hungry. And normally I’d breastfeed her, but I’m not quite coordinated enough to keep myself covered and set her up on my breast (especially since she’s so heavy) so I had to pull out a bottle I’d prepped for her. And I fed it to her while my arm was shaking under the weight of her head and upper body. With a Grinchy scowl of course.
Hadley fell asleep on my shoulder after her bottle, and I shifted my weight and swayed from side-to-side (you know, right? The mom shuffle? The one you do in the grocery store line even when your baby isn’t there and people look at you and you just smile because…how can you explain it? 😂)
And then Silent Nightcame on…
mother and child..Holy infant so tender and mild…sleep in heavenly peace…
And I suddenly felt so peaceful as her head nuzzled into my chest and her back rose and fell with her gentle breaths under my hand.
I remembered what I would have given to be sitting or standing anywhere with a healthy baby at this time last year.
I remembered for how long I dreamed of being a mom to a little girl. Sometimes i still cant believe she is mine.
I remember all of those amazing, strong women who are still waiting for this miracle.
And my heart is so full of gratitude that I dont have any room left to feel grumpy or upset.
Its Christmas Eve.
I’m standing next to my parents and my wife, holding my daughter.
I am blessed beyond imagination.
Anyway, that doesn’t excuse my childish assholey response to not having a seat in church. It’s just a story about how perspective can make all the difference. Sometimes I just need to really pay attention to those little reminders in my life.
Merry Christmas. Happy everything.
May 2019 bring you everything you hope for and more. ❤