A few weeks ago my husband’s small private school held their high school graduation at a fancy event center.
I was all dressed up, Philomena was home with our babysitter, and Zelie who was with us was all ready to nurse down in the carrier for her evening nap when we arrived. Everything was set up to be a fantastic, easy evening full of socializing and celebrating the graduates.
But it wasn’t.
I forgot my Lillebaby buckle carrier, and without it Zelie will never nurse down in public. (She is way too interested in exploring and crawling around than nursing if she isn’t snuggled in the carrier.)
Ethan was MC for the event so I was obviously the one that needed to take her out when she got noisy almost as soon as the ceremony began.
I could hear applause for the students as they accepted their diplomas and academic awards. I’m sure wonderful memories were shared by the class president and wisdom was imparted from the guest speaker to the graduates. But what was said, I don’t know, because my evening looked like this…
…Zelie endlessly crawling around out in the deserted lobby of the event center. She didn’t rest for a moment, and had no interested in being held or nursing down on one of the couches.
Ethan insisted he wanted to keep track of her during the hors d’oeuvre hour after the ceremony, but I knew there were so many students and parents who would want to talk to him, so I just stuck with Zelie as she crawled up and down deserted hallways.
Inside I was throwing a pity party for myself, and when we got in the car I grumbled about what a waste the night had been.
I Threw It Away
The night was a waste, but not because Zelie didn’t nap as I planned so I could enjoy the ceremony.
The night was a waste because I had the opportunity to die to my own will and desires, and become holier by the sacrifice that motherhood was asking of me… and instead I grumbled, complained, and failed to see any merit in what I had to do.
I was so agitated that I needed to give of myself, when really that hour could have been seen as a gift to grow in virtue. I could have thanked God for it and practiced patience, self-mortification, and even gratitude for having missed the ceremony because I have a beautiful, healthy little girl who crawls all over the place, just as is typical for her age.
I blew my chance this time, but there will be so many more opportunities to grow in virtue in my vocation. Hopefully I will learn from this and try again next time, asking God to help me not waste these little chances to become holy.
I tell you, Catholic motherhood has sanctification built right in.
The lovely Ginny Kochis of the blog Not So Formulaic is doing a whole series on Catholic Motherhood right now! I’m honored to be featured as her first writer on this, so please click here if you are interested in reading my post over there with more on how Catholic motherhood is sanctifying.