I made it.
I survived my first week back from maternity leave.
Yes, I work part time,
(and by part time, I mean 3 days a week, for quarter days, at that)
but I can’t say that I’m not thrilled to have my first week behind me
and my little baby before me,
as she sits here, sucking on her big toe and making me smile.
This week was hard.
It was wonderful to be back with the kids,
(hey, one of them even had a freckle, exactly like my sister’s! I told his mom that I would bribe my sister to let me rub hers. She rubs her son’s too. Freckle fiends, unite!)
and I got to sing songs and put on puppet shows and fly around with my “Feathered Friends”
(What? You think my class name could possibly be something not involving feathers?),
but I missed my daughter, deeply.
In the morning, it took me three tries to get down the stairs.
One more kiss, please?
One more nuzzle?
One more minute of staring, please?
I held her and breathed her in and told her how much I loved her,
but still,
it hurt.
It really, truly hurt.
It hurt me in a place that I didn’t know I had.
She was being watched by my most trusted family members,
but even so, it hurt me to miss out on the giggles, the kisses, the mischief,
the gobbling the oatmeal,
the jumping in the Jumperoo,
the blabbing and blabbing and blabbing,
the everything.
But, Monday soon became Friday,
as it always does,
and as the sun goes down on this day,
on this first week of our new life,
I will say an extra Shabbat prayer
for a good year for all of us.
And give thanks, for all that I have been blessed with, today, this week, this year and beyond.
Do I sound sappy?
You see, today was my first school Shabbat without my daughter.
She spent every Shabbat before today nestled in my belly, and it felt so holy having her there, with me, as we prayed.
In the beginning, I was the only one who knew she was in there,
and when I’d graze my hand across my belly after touching the Torah, I’d try to be as inconspicuous as possible, as to not to give away my little, tiny, sesame seed sized secret.
Later, I’d feel her very first movements while in the Sanctuary during a Sabbath service.
And then even later, she’d kick along with the Rabbi’s guitar and Cantor’s songs.
So yeah, Shabbat was always very special for us,
and I missed her today.
And, most likely, I will miss her every time I walk out the door and she is not with me.
But hey, I guess I just have to be thankful that I have someone that I love so much that it makes my tummy ache when we’re apart.
To be honest, I have two people like that.
What did I do to deserve them?
I’ll never know.
So, for now, I’ll just keep counting my blessings,
and giving extra kisses,
and nuzzling,
and staring,
for every beautiful moment that I am blessed enough to have.
Shabbat Shalom to all,
no matter what you believe,
or don’t believe,
I send you love.
I send you blessings.
And, most of all,
I wish you peace.


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