It has been just about a year ago that I hung up my substitute teacher hat and started watching my nephew part time. I cannot even begin to explain what a wonderful transition this has been for me as well as completely freeing me from doing something I started to grow to hate.
But besides that fact, most importantly, my heart has changed.
Just about a year ago, I had my first "pregnancy scare." There were no real signs that I was pregnant except I had been sick for a long time and had been gaining weight. I started letting all those, "maybe you are pregnant?" questions get to my in head when in reality, I was sick and had stopped going to the gym to rest my body.
That evening my husband drove to the store to get a pregnancy test while I lied in bed in anger. I was not ready to be a mom. I was not ready to give up my free time. I was not ready. I wanted to be selfish with my my life, time, and my husband for a little longer.
And within just a few weeks...I thought to myself, "I could do this." I can still have my life...still socialize...still have a clean house...still go to the gym...and still have my sanity. And so my anger slowly became a confidence that if this was to happen, I would be okay.
Fast forward to this last month...my nephew is about 18 months old and his little personality and interests are growing and thriving. He loves to play. He is interested in things for longer periods of time. He has a personality. And we are really getting to know each other.
Things I do...as a reflection of my personality, not just for the entertainment of a child, he finds silly. He understands things I say. I feel like he gets me.
And because of all of this I feel a greater sense of purpose. I feel caught in the moment. I sense that this is exactly where I need to be at the moment.
Suddenly all those old things that I wanted to spend my free time on didn't seem as important. I enjoy my simplified home. I don't want to always be decorating. I don't have the need so much for my craft room. Instead I am caught in the moment with this baby.
No other relationship besides being a wife to my husband has been so fulfilling thus far. To provide physical and emotional needs to a person who otherwise cannot get those things on his own. And to reap the rewards of giving of myself.
I told my husband the other day, in great pride, the things I have been doing with my nephew. Painting...playing in the water outside...taking him on his first hike. And through it all I have this sense that "I could do this".
Now before you get all excited, this is not a post announcing that we are trying! My long term goal is to start having kids around the age of 30, which gives me two more years. But what I am learning is that I no longer have a sense of fear or anger towards the possibility of becoming pregnant. And it is even more than sensing that I would be okay and could do it. It is that I am confident that I could do it...do it well...thrive at being a mom...and find great purpose and happiness in that role.
I never knew that I could love my nephew as much as I do. And it boggles my mind to imagine that there is the possibility of even more love in my heart for my own children one day.
But as I look to the future...future nieces or nephews...and my own kids one day...I want to remember this moment I am in.
I want to remember this special time with my sweet nephew...the boy who changed my heart.