I didn't know most of the people at Cliff's family gathering Saturday. There were neighbors and cousins, and the children of cousins... I didn't even try to figure out who belonged to whom. As I sat and listened to Cliff talking with his cousin Dale, a toddler began fussing behind me, wanting his very young mother to pick him up. She was obviously frustrated with trying to appease him, and I offered to take him for awhile. I was sitting in a metal lawn chair that rocked, so I began rocking him and singing all the songs I used to sing to my babies and grandbabies: "I've Been Working On The Railroad", "Go Tell Aunt Rhody", and "All The Pretty Little Horses". He immediately laid his head on my shoulder, pacifier firmly implanted in his mouth, and relaxed. When I'd pause my singing, he'd grunt at me... his way of asking me to continue.
I hadn't realized, until then, how I miss having a baby around. It came over me like a physical hunger, and I could have cried at how good it felt to have that baby laying peacefully on my shoulder.
At my previous church, I worked in the nusery with a friend of mine, during Sunday School, every Sunday for at least ten years. I've had grandbabies off and on for nineteen years now, and even babysat a couple of infants when there were no grandchildren close by.
Now, I have no babies in my life. The thought of that makes me feel rather empty. Something must be done! If I were to take on an infant to babysit, it would drastically cut back on my horseback riding, and other leisure activities... so I will give it serious thought before I commit to anything. If I could drive, I'd just go back to my old church (I'm still a member there anyhow) and get back to work in the nursery.
Or maybe this will pass. We'll see.