Good Bye, First Friends

The wonderful First Friends Mom’s Day Out, or as Benjamin insists it be called “Bible School”, is a local gem sadly undiscovered until my third kid or Benjamin. Phenomenal Protestant hospitality permeated with tender touches, such as the opening day apple-shaped sugar cookie for each child, a 10 am to 3 pm weekly mom-friendly-get-stuff-done schedule, and generous, loving volunteer teachers made the experience matchless. Going each Thursday became the highlight of the week for our pre-schooler Benjamin. And Mommy liked it, too.

Walking out with Benjamin lagging behind, I turned back to see my just-turned 5-year-old against the backdrop of the First Evangelical Free Church double doors. With a big smile on his face he was wearing his bright turquoise “First Friends” t-shirt with his hands full of the Mother’s Day tissue paper flower, butterfly, and card; his bulky bag with blanket and pillow for the afternoon nap; lunch box and drink; and his backpack.

And I was stung with a slight pain in my chest grieving that he was the last Weber to walk out those doors.

I would have liked more kids. Between the blown out uterus and circumstances making adoption unfeasible at the time, I have struggled accepting God’s plan for our family size. Yet, our fast-paced life as we transition into even busier years with all of our kids in school and our oldest entering middle school honestly would not meld well with the baby/little kid stage.

It has been fun to see them grow, but hard to let them go.

Acknowledging what we’re leaving behind combined with a greater investment in celebrating what’s to come has been the key. Battle of the Books, swim team, music concerts, and the “human development film” replace the play groups, mom’s day out, and toddler time at the library.

On the heels of Mother’s Day, I’m reminded of my role to guide them to grow and let them go; it is the essence of being a mother. The bitter-sweetness of motherhood, handled well, sanctifies us.

Catholic Women’s Guide to Healthy Relationships Tip: Identify a developmental loss and invest in something new God has given you to replace it.