your baby.

I slipped out of the sanctuary and into the hallway. As I moved closer to the nursery, I saw, through the window, Atticus. In the arms of the nursery worker, who was doing her best to comfort him despite the fact that he was beside himself with frustration and fatigue. I could not remember the last time I had heard him yell quite that loud.

We still have trouble with the juggling act on Sunday mornings. Last Sunday, things were complicated by the additional responsibility of moderating a discussion for our youth during Sunday School. Atticus did not nap before church. On the way there, he did not fall asleep. We played with him during Sunday School, and he seemed okay. Before the service, he seemed tired but focused on playing with his toys. Mike made me stay in the service until the children’s sermon. I worried the whole time.

After a few minutes, he finally calmed down, and I took him outside. He seems to love the outdoors, this child of mine. Sometimes we sit on the front porch and watch the cars go by. Last Sunday, we sat on a bench by the playground and he gently drifted off to sleep, his face still puffy and red from crying. I had nothing but my phone for company, so I ended up with trees and Twitter instead of a sermon. And while I wish that I had taken Mike’s advice and taken my purse (and therefore my book) with me, I was okay sitting outside. I rocked my boy and clicked on New York Times articles.

Two things I had been dreading finally happened at once: He was inconsolable when I was not there to console him, and I ended up being off with him instead of participating in the service. I survived them both. It turns out that his meltdown didn’t embarrass me. It turns out that the nursery workers can handle dealing with a crying baby. It turns out that I didn’t mind rocking him to sleep instead of listening to the sermon. I thought I would feel like I was missing out, but instead I felt like I was doing just what I needed to be.

I have never felt like I was missing out when I was spending time with Mike, especially if he needed me. Somehow I didn’t ever make the connection that I would feel the same way about Atticus. When all those people said, “It will be different when it’s your baby,” all I could hear was the baby part. Things didn’t change because he’s a baby. They changed because he’s mine.

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