I was devastated when I stopped taking care of my two little guys, because I knew I would miss them terribly. I’d been there for so many of their joys and sorrows, triumphs, milestones, and evidence that even before they were nine months old they were already too clever for their own good. I missed what I called “my daytime family.” There was such tremendous sorrow in my heart, because I felt like my time of being as close to a mom as I may ever get had ended.
In some ways, it felt like I was mourning the loss of two sons. It hit me hard while I was at Mass the other day that part of the reason that I feel working with elementary school students is a good fit for me now is that’s how old “my two little guys” are currently.
I can’t even imagine what it is like to lose a child. That is one of the things I’m not sure I could make it through. If my heart was ripped in two when two boys I knew would only be in my care for a period of time, I figured I couldn’t handle the full-fledged emotions that would come from being someone’s biological or legal parent.
The pain I felt then was so deep, I genuinely believed that I wouldn’t be able to do foster care or adoption, because of the possibility that the child could be sent back into a home that was not really safe or best for him or her. I didn’t think (and sometimes still don’t believe) I could stand it.
I also never thought I’d nanny for anyone, again. I was afraid to love any children so deeply and completely as I loved and love the boys, because eventually the time would come to say goodbye to them, too. I didn’t think I’d have the strength for that, either.
God, in His infinite wisdom, proved me wrong, again. Thank goodness for the sunshine of a brand new beginning five years ago last month.