My cousin Jesus, plus some thoughts.

This past Sundee we headed south to attend my sweet cousin’s farewell address before he heads off on a two year LDS Mission to Northern Cali.  We got there a little early (never happened before!) and were able to sit pretty close to the front on the soft pews with the rest of the extended family.  As we waited for the meeting to begin, my sweet baby boy noticed that down the row at the other end of the pew was my other cousin, Ben, who James hadn’t really met before (pictured above).  My innocent son looked up into my eyes with a bright countenance and tried to whisper (but really yelled), “Mom! It’s Jesus!”  
My heart burst a little and then I said, “Go give him a hug!”  
I then witnessed one of the sweetest moments a mother can imagine:  her baby boy running to Jesus with a huge smile on his face.  I got a little choked up as I saw my sweet cousin play along.  He scooped James up in his arms, sat him on his lap, and had a sweet conversation with him.  James said, “I’m Jameser!”  and Ben replied, “I know, you’re a good boy and I love you!”  It was short but sweet, and James came skipping back to me with doe eyes and exclaimed, “I talked to Jesus!”  
The thing that got me the most was that James is usually scared of a lot of things and takes a while to warm up to people sometimes.  But he ran to Jesus, even though he hadn’t met him before.  He saw him, he recognized him, he knew from what John and I have taught him that Jesus loves him, so he ran to him.  It was more than I could ever hope for as James’ mom.  It was just so beautiful.  
And I love that they are holding hands in the above photo!!
It’s an amazing thing, raising a child.  I’d say that the thing that occupies my mind and heart the most is thoughts on motherhood and what it truly means.  I read a lot of articles about mom’s explaining how they get burnt out and are in need of advice on how to cope, and I have an extremely hard time relating.  Maybe it’s because I only have one child so far (who is easier to raise than I ever imagined), maybe it’s because I never wanted to be a working mom so I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything outside of my home, maybe it’s because I only live in 900 square feet so it’s not too stressful to upkeep my home on top of other responsibilities, or maybe it’s because I have known from a very young age that I was born to be a mother and the fact that I get to fulfill my calling without the pressure of having to divide my time between my family and work brings me an unspeakable, sacred joy.  I also think it helps that I really do try to take care of myself, too, and resist at all costs buying in to “mommy guilt.”  I guess I subscribe to the philosophy of knowing motherhood is divine and that I am not doing it alone.  Obviously I have John, but I truly feel Heavenly Father is right there with me on this journey of motherhood, guiding me if I listen, softening my heart when I need to do something differently, reminding me that compassion and humor always come first as I raise His sweet son James, encouraging me that I really am doing a great job, and reassuring me that it’s okay that I don’t do everything right.  He will make up the difference for everything I lack as long as I teach my son about Him and Jesus Christ and about love and empathy.  It’s not easy every day, but it is most days.  I think, mainly, because I simply get to be doing what I’ve always wanted to be doing, what I’ve always known I would be best at.  Some people dream of being a doctor or a teacher or an inventor or a musician or a politician.  I have only ever dreamed of being a mom.  And James has not only made my dreams come true, but has allowed them them to blossom into more than my little tween heart every thought possible as I fantasized about my unborn children all those years ago.  This is the life I have always wanted, and I am so honored that it can be with my boy James.