Nursery

October 26th, 2008

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Behold the Bubbers King.

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On the day he turned 18 months old.

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And was officially old enough to start going to the nursery class at church.

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A day I celebrated by dressing him in my favorite Sunday outfit.

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And letting him touch his Daddy’s treasured scriptures.

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I loved how much he looked like a big boy.

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But I was sad at the same time, too.

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So I snapped his tie to make us laugh.

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And asked him to fold his arms.

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And then I saw he was just as much my little buddy now as he was when he was 17 months old.

So I felt better.

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But then he took off!!

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To play with some of his favorite toys.

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And make the faces I love so much.

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Like his “concentration” face.

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That always accompanies tasks like this.

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What on earth?!?

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Oh, it’s just Mom with her camera.

Hmm, I wonder…..

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“Could you help me with this piece?” he suddenly asked.

“Of course!” I answered and put down my camera.

And tried not to think anymore about my son being 18 months old……

Until Sunday rolled around and it was time to take him nursery.

And I held him tightly as I left the chapel

And then a sweet woman paused to say, “Hello, Heidi, how are you?”

And I tried to smile, but my eyes welled up with tears and my mouth started trembling.

“It’s his first day of nursery and I’m really sad,” I said through my tears.

She patted my shoulder and said, “Really?  I was happy when my daughter was finally old enough to go to nursery.”

I tried to laugh, but my throat choked up and all I could do was press my cheek against my dear son’s cheek and hold him tighter.

Then my husband was at my side and we walked to the nursery room together.

And I cried as I kissed him goodbye, but still couldn’t leave him.

So, finally, my husband gently squeezed my shoulder and said, “We should go.”

And I gave him one last kiss and finally let go of his little arm and walked out with my husband.

Then I hugged my husband and he asked if I was okay.

I said I was and we parted for our separate Sunday School classes.

And I sat down in my Sunday School class that I hadn’t attended for at least 6 months.

And joined in singing the opening hymn.

But I didn’t get out two words before I felt absolutely lonely.

And all I could think about was my little buddy.

And how we used to walk around and explore the church together during the Sunday School hour.

And how he’d point out every ant on the sidewalk.

And every car in the parking lot.

And how we’d play hide and seek around the entrance pillars.

And play on the bike rack.

And how I’d sing him church songs and he’d watch me with wide eyes and a big smile.

But not anymore.

And I missed him.

So bad.

And I started crying so hard I had to leave Sunday School and lock myself in the bathroom.

And then I had to walk around outside by myself, for old time’s sake.

And the same sweet woman who saw me start to cry in the hallway found me.

And she held my hand and walked with me.

And told me how blessed we are to have other people to help us raise our children.

And I agreed.

But my heart still ached.

And I still missed him.

But finally the hour was over.

And I wanted to peek in the nursery class and see my little buddy.

But I didn’t let myself.

I went straight to my women’s class.

And when the Bishop’s wife asked me how I was doing, I said, “I’m okay, but I miss my son.”

Then she looked at me with understanding in her eyes and said, “Yes.  That is hard.”

Then she continued, “You cry when they go to nursery.  And you cry at their first primary program.  And then at every one after that.  And then…..,” and she paused as she looked at the title of our opening hymn and then looked back at me, “And then you cry when they’re a missionary and every time you sing a missionary hymn.”

And I thought of her son.

Who’d just left on his mission.

And I believed every word she said.

—–
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Bubbers after his first day of nursery.

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And his mother who missed him so much.

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22 Comments

charlotte | 10/26/2008 9:41 pm

One of my most favorite things about you Heidi is how much you adore every single thing about your children and take advantage of every moment with them. You have such a great mother’s heart. Congrats to Bubbers on getting to go to nursery! I bet he had a blast:)

PS> The arms folded pic is about the cutest thing i’ve ever seen!

Heidi | 10/26/2008 10:28 pm

Oh, thank you, Charlotte! My mother’s heart is often painful for me, but I’m usually able to deal with it privately–so this public milestone was a whole new ballgame for me! :)

And I love that picture of him folding his arms, too! :):) That and his little, “Mamen,” and big smile at the end of prayers make prayer time even more special now! :)

 
 
Emily Nedry | 10/26/2008 10:39 pm

I loved this post; it made me think that my time with my little Butter Bean at church is short and my eyes welled up with tears. Thanks for sharing…I know it will be tough for me too!

Heidi | 10/27/2008 9:19 pm

Welcome, Emily! I’m so glad you loved my post and I know exactly how you feel! I did the same thing with Bubbers when he was the same age as your sweet Butter Bean. :)

 
 
Sobbja | 10/26/2008 10:50 pm

What a lovely photos!
Kind refards,

Beertje Zonn

Heidi | 10/27/2008 9:20 pm

Thank you so much and welcome to my blog!

 
 
alycia | 10/27/2008 9:55 am

I loved what the lady said about her son being on a mission. It’s got to be really hard to have your children far away from you. I was feeling the same way in church yesterday. We had our primary program so I had to sit with the sunbeams. Since I teach primary sacrament meeting is the only time I get to spend with Preston during church. I have always really missed the fact that I don’t get to stay with him for the rest of the meetings and yesterday just made it worse so I brought him into sharing time with me. The kids just played a game and Preston sat on my lap and snuggled with me. It made me feel so much better to have him with me and I was sad when I had to give him back to Gabe.

I love your pictures too! Did you use all natural light in the ones with the fabric? They were amazing and he looked so cute!

Heidi | 10/27/2008 9:22 pm

Oh, Alycia! I’m glad you got to cuddle him during sharing time! And I agree–I can’t begin to imagine how long I’ll cry when he goes on his mission…

Thank you for complimenting my pictures! There was a little natural light, but it’s mainly three lamps I moved into my studio and put as close as possible to him. :) I was hoping it would be enough to shoot without my flash and it was! (Though some of the pictures were a bit dark if he turned away from the lights, so I tried to encourage him to face them). :)

 
 
Jesse | 10/27/2008 10:08 am

Oh, I remember… Gracie went to nursery a few months early. Cori and I both taught during the third hour, and the nursery leader took pitty on us. It was hard to leave her. But she did so well on her own, like Bubbers. I remember looking through the door window on that first day. Grace was quietly sitting at the table eating snacks with the other kids. She watched them all and couldn’t stop smiling. I was so pleased with the little person she was. Ah, growing pains. They grow up and we feel it. Great pictures, Hides.

Heidi | 10/27/2008 9:30 pm

Thanks, Jheshe! :)

I wish our nursery room doors had a window (though I’m hoping to get peep holes installed). That would help a lot to be able to watch him! :) Seeing how much he loves it and knowing it’s good for him was the only way I could get myself to do it. It was so hard knowing my son was in the same building as me, but neither I nor my husband were taking care of him. And I couldn’t really watch him and see what he was doing (without disrupting his peaceful transition).

I like your term “growing pains”. Very true!!

 
 
tearese | 10/27/2008 6:04 pm

Awe, I bet he loved Nursery. I know Joshua will. I will miss playing with him in class..and I know everyone else will miss him too, because I get told every week how entertaining he is. (And probably distracting, but they don’t say that.)
Elora finally starts Sunbeams next January, and I think she will miss Nursery, because she talks about it all week!

 
Kara | 10/27/2008 6:13 pm

Aww! You are such a sweet mommy! I’ve taught nursery a few times and have to say I’ve seen plenty of kids cry when they are first left there, but I’ve never seen a mom cry! Maybe they are just locked in the bathroom where I don’t see. :)
I hope he had fun and you were able to enjoy some of your adult classes!

Heidi | 10/27/2008 9:32 pm

Thank you, Kara! That is too funny about the kids crying, but not the adults. I definitely cried way more than Bubbers did! He was upset for about half a second and then he went back to playing with his Playdoh and didn’t even watch us leave. (sniff, sniff!)

But he did have a lot of fun and I did enjoy Relief Society. And the next week was a lot easier for me, so I’m making progress. :)

 
 
Aimee | 10/27/2008 8:49 pm

Awww, I can totally understand why it was so tough to let him go to Nursery. I was personally relieved when Jilly started, but more because I was so busy with Primary and Steve with his calling, it was too hard to have her with us. Was that Annette that said that to you? Crazy… I remember when Ryan was around Bubbers’ age! Very sweet. Glad you survived!

 
Suzanne | 10/27/2008 9:14 pm

Heidi, I would be sad too. Its so crazy but that is what happens when you become a mum. Your little boy will always be your little boy.
Our kinder teacher gave us a mummy survival pack when I dropped Shakira the 1st time. It had a lovely prayer, a tea bag, a note from the teacher to say she will look after her for us and some tissues to wipe our tears. Shakira was my 3rd to do this and I used those tissues as soon as I got to the car.
Hey I even have tears in my eyes thinking about it just now.

Heidi | 10/27/2008 9:34 pm

Oh, Suzanne! I don’t know how mothers survive kids going off to school… What a thoughtful gift from Shakira’s teacher! I’ve never heard of that before, but it’s so sweet and just what the mothers need, I’m sure! Even though I used to work at a school, I’m just now realizing how much faith and trust parents have when they sent their children to us every day.

 
 
JS | 10/28/2008 11:19 am

Luke has 6 months to go!!! Yippppee!!! But maybe I’ll feel different when he actually has to go, and I too will end up in the bathroom! I love the second picture of maps and how his lips are! Way cute!

 
ERIKA | 10/28/2008 8:59 pm

Oh, Heidi–he is just gorgeous! What a CUTE little boy! Those eyelashes! It all happens too fast, doesn’t it? Emery is only a few short months from the same thing…and we’ll be watching our last child start the journey. I’ll probably cry, too!

 
Melissa | 10/30/2008 9:30 am

Heidi, what a touching post. I loved all those pictures of him in his Sunday outfit and w/ the scriptures. He looks so serious and grown up! What a handsome little man you have. :) And thank you for sharing such tender feelings with us. I hope it continues to get easier for you! :) Just think of it as an important part of his progression. I always feel a little tug at my heart when each of my kids starts the journey from baby to big kid, but I’m also excited to watch them learn and grow with their first nursery and primary teachers.

And, being a nursery teacher myself, I can’t help but make a “plug” for the new nursery manual, “Behold Your Little Ones”. If you don’t have a copy already, I HIGHLY recommend getting one – it’s fantastic. It is specifically geared toward very young kids – nursery age kids – whereas the old manual, while still good, was really geared toward Sunbeam-age kids (the same manual used to be used for Nursery and Sunbeams). Anyway, we’ve already used it a couple of times at home for FHE lessons…if you haven’t already, you could find out what your nursery’s lesson schedule is, and then use your copy of the manual to reinforce the lessons by doing them again in FHE or something. The manual is full of great ideas, tips on teaching, beautiful pictures, etc. I just can’t say enough good about it. It’s really fun to teach out of. :)

Oops…SORRY this got so long! ;)

Heidi | 11/29/2008 9:55 pm

Thank you, Melissa! After your comment, I ordered the manual and am very excited to use it for a formal FHE with Bubbers! :)

 
 
Sara | 11/24/2008 4:09 pm

Heidi – I’m so glad I found your blog! I have been reading backwards in the last few days, and when I finished this post, I had to walk away from my desk for a few moments. Though I don’t have any babies to experience this myself, I want it so much, and I am so glad for you that you are able to take the time to recogize and appreciate the milestones. I am also happy for you that you will soon have another little one to hold and cherish.

You are an amazing photographer and I love the “stories” style of your blog.

Sara Hammond

Heidi | 11/29/2008 9:56 pm

Wow, thank you so much, Sara! It means a great deal to know you enjoy my blog and pictures–thank you for telling me!

 
 

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