Monday, December 24, 2007

My Favorite Gift (so far)

Last Sunday I received my favorite gift of the season (so far!) Actually, it wasn't for me; it was for my daughter. We had our nannies over for a holiday thank you dinner, and they both arrived with a joint gift for Elizabeth, both very excited to give it. It looked square and thin in shape, and I guessed it was a book that they had purchased for Elizabeth. I thought to myself how sweet that was, especially since one of the nannies had mentioned that Elizabeth seemed bored with all of the books in the house. About an hour later I found out that what was inside the package was far beyond a book to relieve the boredom of my daughter. It was a treasure to both her and me.

The title of the book is "Elizabeth's Day with Bear," and the content of the book is a play by play of what my daughter's day looks like at 19 months with her best friend "Bear." The text is accompanied by pictures that both nannies had taken while watching her over the past 3 months. The pages show how she and Bear eat breakfast together, play blocks together, go for a walk together, play at the park together, and take a nap together. Mundane as it may seem, for a working mother, it is a treasure.

As I read through the book, tears welled up inside of me. These were the things that I used to do with my daughter on my days off last year. Now, two other young ladies get to do these things with her. You would think jealousy would take over here, but instead a sense of gratefulness came upon me. I'm so thankful that these two young ladies take such good care of my daughter and that they care for her enough to continue doing these things with her. And I'm so thankful that they love her enough to take the time to make a book that chronicles what her life is like at this point.

A couple of months ago a friend of mine sent me an email describing her point of view of working mothers. In the email, she wrote, "As for the working full-time thing...I believe in it. [My daughter] will be in wonderful hands and I will be doing what I've been trained and equipped to do for years. Instead of just one person benefitting from my love and skills, I get to help dozens of kids who don't come from the healthy place that [my daughter] does. It's what the kingdom of heaven is about - using your talents to bless others. We'll read to, sing to, cuddle with, and love [my daughter] in the morning, evening, and weekend. During the 9 or so hours of separation, she'll be learning social skills, learning to love others and be loved by others (besides us). It's more than just being great moms - it's doing our part as humans on this earth."

Last Sunday with the help of my daughter, a bear, and a book, I finally realized the latter part of this email. And I'm so grateful for that gift.

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