As I sit here feeding Milo, I came across a quote that someone shared on facebook that I want to remember, and my own thoughts it triggered.
"Motherhood is the greatest potential influence either for good or ill in human life. The mother's image is the first that stamps itself on the unwritten page of the young child's mind. It is her caress that first awakens a sense of security; her kiss the first realization of affection; her sympathy and tenderness, the first assurance that there is love in the world." David O. Mckay
Less than 8 weeks ago, I heard Milo's first cries in the delivery room. The nurse checked him over and brought him straight to me to warm him up skin to skin. The moment his tiny new body touched my chest, he relaxed completely and I felt his warm life wiggle so close to me. I felt immediately the trust Heavenly Father places in Chris and I as his parents, and the responsibility we have to not screw up! Of course we lose our patience still every day and struggle to balance two children at times - often involving tears from small people or grown-ups or both - but I want those qualities to be how my children feel about me when they are young and how they know me when they are grown.
On a date night before Milo was born, Chris and I went to see a movie. A little girl, who seemed not much younger than Kassie was there with her parent. I saw her crying as she left with her dad during the beginning of the movie, and I thought "Figures - kind of a scary movie for a child!" On our way out of the long movie, I saw the same girl standing outside in the cold while her dad smoked a cigarette, her little eyes peering through the glass into the theater entrance. She looked so scared and so cold as she seemed completely ignored by the adult who was with her. I wanted to pick her up and hug her and offer to the man that I would take her home with me. Kassie would love it and I could teach her about families and love, comfort and safety. But as we physically walked past her, resisting the urge to kidnap her for her own good, I started crying. I couldn't understand why she couldn't be warm at home in her bed with a trusted babysitter if her parents needed a night out. I imagined Kassie sleeping soundly, which she was, with Chris's mom sitting upstairs listening carefully for a peep from her room. I wondered what Jesus would have done - probably stopped and blessed the child and taught or rebuked the parent - but what could I have done? I wondered how this girl's mother first felt when she was born: loss of freedom? Financial burden? Or maybe she didn't plan to change her lifestyle at all to adjust to the needs of her new child. Maybe she was more concerned about her own stretch marks or weight gain. Or maybe she had good intentions that were too difficult for her to maintain. I don't know and it made me sad.
I still think about those little scared brown eyes in the window and hope that my children never feel insecure, lonely, or forced to wait "out in the cold" while I attend to my own wants. I want to be the type of mother that President David O. McKay speaks about. My children need me and I need them.
I'm grateful to know that God has a plan for each of our families and that we can be together for eternity if we live worthy of that blessing. I will eat those chubby little cheeks up as long as they are chubby and I can run fast enough to catch them. And then I hope they will run to me still.