"MA!!!!" He shouts to no one and no where in particular.
"Yes baby cakes?"
"MA. MA. MA. MA. MA!!!"
"Yes Titus? What is it love? I'm right here."
We do this over and over and over again every day. Titus' verbal filler these days is not "Um," or "Like" but "MOMMMM!" I always answer, but I know he doesn't need anything.
Mom? Followed by yes. This is our first conversation, well out loud anyway.
The ones previous have been sign language. He taps his fingers back and forth together and apart and I know he wants more Cheerios. He puts his hands together now when I say its time to pray. He waves hello and goodbye and blows kisses. I love being able to share these basic forms of communication with him. When I hug him now, he hugs me back.
The first year it is so hard to know what they need, if they know they are loved.
My simple prayer for Titus since before his birth has been, "Lord let him know how much he is loved, by me, but also by you."
Today I'm realizing both soberly and gratefully that most days, how God is showing Titus his love is through me. I take this responsibility very deeply. I know I am a missionary to Titus, even at this young age. When he calls "MOM!" I will respond, every time. Because God answers me when I call. When he asks for more, I give him more and in my heart I think, "You have all of me and more baby. All I have is yours." Does not God give us everything we need and more?
This morning is Mother's Day, and it also happens to be Parent-Child Dedication Day at our church. Our church gathering is pretty large, and they organize these dedications to happen twice a year. For various reasons, Tim and I have not been able to participate in these dedications yet, even though Titus is 16 months old. I was dedicated in our smaller church when I was an infant, so this was not how I expected things to happen. Our church views the dedication more as a missional dedication for parents and now requires that parents take some classes to reorient us to that posture. I love this! I need this! Except that for us with Tim's school schedule, this may never happen.
This grieves me. And the enemy whispers hints of failure to my mama's heart. Add it to the list of the many ways I thought things would be different.
Upon sharing my thoughts with some of my people, they reassured me, revealing to me God's reassurance. Baby dedication is not needed for Titus to get into heaven. We dedicate Titus daily with how we show him God's love. Not only that, but we have freedom to dedicate Titus in our house church. We don't have to go on a stage. We don't have to take a class. If we feel God is calling us to intentionally dedicate ourselves to teaching Titus about Jesus, then God will make a way for us to do that with the lives he gave us now.
So we have a date on the calendar for June, a quiet night in our house church, where our people will join us in our prayer that Titus, and Bambino, would know God's deep, deep love for them and that God, in his grace, would show us how to be that love for them.
So now my conversation with God is not that he would change my life so I can be a better parent, wife, or friend, but that he would change my heart instead.
"Make it oatmeal, Lord. Show me how with the life you've given me. Thank you for your love."