Heidi October 26th, 2008
Behold the Bubbers King.
On the day he turned 18 months old.
And was officially old enough to start going to the nursery class at church.
A day I celebrated by dressing him in my favorite Sunday outfit.
And letting him touch his Daddy’s treasured scriptures.
I loved how much he looked like a big boy.
But I was sad at the same time, too.
So I snapped his tie to make us laugh.
And asked him to fold his arms.
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.
But then he took off!!
To play with some of his favorite toys.
And make the faces I love so much.
Like his “concentration” face.
That always accompanies tasks like this.
What on earth?!?
Oh, it’s just Mom with her camera.
Hmm, I wonder…..
“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.
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.
Bubbers after his first day of nursery.
And his mother who missed him so much.