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Betrothed Babies Blog

Sometimes about babies, sometimes about us, always cathartic

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February 2022

Immaculate Conception

Today is the feast of the immaculate conception, and it’s one of my favorite feast days. I especially love the gospel reading for today. And while I was reading the readings before I attend Mass this morning, I thought I’d be struck by what really is my favorite part of the gospel “for nothing will be impossible for God” because if you know my journey, this statement speaks so true to my life, but today something different stood out to me. Mary’s response. She says, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.”

Wow.

So simple, yet so profound. And really something I’d like to live up to in my own life. Being open to God’s call. Being open to God’s plan. Always responding with grace, humility, and trust to what God wants for my life.

I’ve been pregnant 3 times in my life. Two pregnancies resulted in two of my beautiful children, Sydney and Tony. One resulted in an early miscarriage. Each time I was pregnant, I was pregnant on this feast day. And since I teach at a Catholic school, I’ve always attended Mass. Twice I was visibly pregnant, and once I was one of very few people who knew I was pregnant, but I always felt a special connection with Mary and Elizabeth while listening to the gospel. I imagined visiting with both of them, us three pregnant women rejoicing for the miracles we carried inside our bodies. Miracles we never expected. Nothing is impossible with God. I saw myself there with the two of them, laughing and praising God as we felt our babies move inside of us. Anticipating, wondering what motherhood would be like, rejoicing, already so in love with our children even though we hadn’t ever seen their faces, probably some worry. Moms worry.

It also makes me think of Vinny, who if you don’t know was adopted. St. Joseph wasn’t Jesus’s biological father, but the love he showed his son is incomparable. It’s what all fathers, all parents, should use as example of parenthood. It’s how I need to remember to parent Vinny and Zack, not my children from my own body, but very much my children. Loved deeply. Wanted. Chosen.

It also makes me think of the triumphs and try-agains my mom friends and I share daily. Whether through texts and phone calls or prayer or visits… the support from my mom friends gets me through.

It makes me think of my own mother, knowing she experienced much of what I’m experiencing as a mom. Thinking about how she still is a mom but in a very different way. Thinking about how parenting her adult daughter who is parenting her young children. Watching me struggle and wishing she could fix everything, but knowing I will learn through the struggle. Loving me, guiding me, helping me, all while feeling her own feelings about motherhood, about being a Nonna, about life. Inspiring me. She truly embodies Mother Mary to me in many instances.

It makes me think of my best friend, she is childless, but she is Vinny’s godmother and the greatest aunt to my kids. Anytime Mary and Elizabeth are mentioned together, I think of her. She has been with me through my single life, married life, infertility, adoption, pregnancies… She is my rock. She is the Elizabeth to my Mary. (I mostly say she’s Elizabeth because that’s her name, but she also is Mary to me.)

The homily at Mass today was about glory. God wants to give us His glory, through Mary and through the holy family. I just continue to pray that my husband and I can guide our family using the holy family as the example. The standard. God, please find us and let us receive Your glory.

May it be done to me according to Your word. Amen.

2/2/22

I love a good “theme day” at school. I participate in all of the wacky dress days, hat day, silly sock day…you name it, I’m down for the theme. So, as I got dressed for the day of 2/2/22, we had a T theme. I wore a tie dye shirt, a tutu, tennis shoes, and put my hair in 2 pigtails. I was hoping to snag a tiara from the drama club storage room once I got to school.

Like most mornings, I was getting the kids dressed and downstairs, making them and myself breakfast, nursing the baby, and trying to get out the door before 7:00am. Since Tony is very mobile now (and I noticed some toys he shouldn’t play with left out on the floor) I put him in his police car walker in the kitchen while I made breakfasts.

What happened next took seconds. I heard Tony choking/coughing while near the fridge, so I immediately ran over and swiped his mouth with my finger. I didn’t find anything, but he was still coughing. I picked him up and swiped again, making sure to feel under his tongue and as far back in his mouth as he would let me. My mom instinct said he swallowed a magnet (we have a bunch of magnetic poetry word magnets on the fridge-they are all high up, but apparently one got moved) because he had a few minutes of such a painful cry. The kind of cry all moms know and dread. Accompanied by drooling and a runny nose, I went into a small panic flipping through so many possible scenarios.

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