We were talking at the restaurant a couple weeks ago, and someone said something about raising kids, and I turned to the friend sitting to my left and said how grateful I am (especially since I didn't get to have a second family) that I was able to be a stay-at-home mom with my daughters.
A fellow sitting across the table heard me and proceeded to turn the conversation into an argument that SAHMs don't necessarily make all that much difference - while my point was that it had mattered to ME -
My daughers' first words were spoken to me. When they took their first steps, it was into my waiting arms. There was no "Miss Judy" my children couldn't wait to go see in the morning, or to give me a detached report of all that I had missed in my children's lives when I picked them up ten hours later.
No! The essential milestones of my daughters' lives were witnessed and celebrated by me - and often by their father.
Which brings me to a confession in the interest of fairness:
We were young when our daughters were born. Sarah, the younger, was born one week before my 24th birthday; Dan is just a couple months older than I. He was in school and holding down a full-time job to support us.
But he agreed that being a mom was the most important thing I could do, and he made those sacrifices and more and I never heard him complain about them. And, when our daughters were small, he was very involved with their little lives; it was his ritual to tuck them in at night, and it was with him, not me, that Christy explored metaphysical concepts ("Daddy, what is dead?")
Since receiving the Declaration of Nullity from the Diocese of Charlotte and the Archdiocese of Atlanta, I've been able to remember, without sting or bitterness, that there were some very good moments in our life together. I couldn't, before.
Does the authority of the Church go so far as this, even - to bring about this deep a healing?
You bet She does! and I'm ever more grateful for being part of Her.