I often find myself wondering, how did St. Monica do it? I mean, how did she never lose faith in her son (St. Augustine of Hippo) when he was hell-bent and determined to live apart from the Lord. Wouldn't it just have been easier to say, he's a lost cause, throw up her hands in disgust and ignore him?
A lot of parents do that today.
My husband, who spent the better part of last year as a teaching assistant in the public school system, was astounded at the number of grandparents raising children. Men and women who had raised their own kids, worked hard, and now should be enjoying the "fun" part of parenting, were starting from scratch. These men and women have the love of St. Monica in their hearts.
I remember my mother telling me that when my brothers were at home as teenagers and were really pushing it, she would tell them, "The only thing keeping me from killing you is that you were a beautiful baby and I loved you so much when you were born."
St. Monica must have had a similar mantra.
Last night, I had a moment to reflect on how perfect the love between a baby and parents is. Jeff and I both bolted upright when we heard the baby wake up. Shelby does occasionally awake at night and go back to sleep. But something was different. As I got my glasses, Jeff came back down the hall.
"Is she okay?" I asked.
"She's not making any noise, I didn't check."
I had been fighting insomnia the better part of the night leading me to believe I might go into labor, so I decided I would check on her.
I opened the door and the stench of fresh vomit was in the air. I went to turn the light on and the poor baby had gotten sick all over her bed and herself. She was trying to go back to sleep.
She opened her eyes and seeing me stood up.
"I'm so sorry this happened," I told her, "Mama's going to clean you up and you'll be okay."
Jeff, hearing this over the monitor came back down the hall. As I removed her diaper and prepared to bathe her, he stripped her sheets, put them in the laundry and began disinfecting her room. While I was bathing her, Jeff came in to help. Shelby gave us a look of such trust and love as if to say, "That was kind of scary, but now my Mama and Daddy are here, and everything is all better."
She is doing much better this morning. But in that moment, I felt how perfect that love and trust is and I understood that in St. Monica's heart, she had these same memories and that is what drove her to help her son no matter what.