No One Loves You Like I Do

I have a vivid memory of driving David to his first day of early intervention preschool. He had just turned three years old and because of his disability, weighed only eleven pounds and was unable sit up without assistance. I was terrified. I wanted to turn the car around and head straight to Mexico where I was sure we could find a tiny villa on the water and live a nice, secluded little life. I was at war inside myself. I knew early intervention preschool was important for David’s development, but would they love him? Would they nurture him and be kind to him? Would they be attentive enough? Would they take the time to understand him?

I parked the car, unstrapped David from his infant car seat {remember he was three years old but tiny} and carried him into his new classroom. I passed him hesitantly to the kind, soft spoken preschool teacher. The staff smiled at me reassuringly. It took everything in me to hold myself together. I explained how to feed him and reminded them David would need assistance sitting up. After a few minutes I kissed David good-bye, got in my car and began sobbing. No one could love David like I did.

For the first few weeks, every time I dropped David off it was torture, but slowly it got easier. After a couple months it was clear the staff adored David. He was adjusting well to the classroom schedule. He was already learning new things. I even began to enjoy a little time to myself. Maybe preschool wasn’t such a bad thing.

I hoped it would be easier when Matthias, our second, started preschool–but nope, it was just as terrifying for me. Plus, Matthias screamed at the top of his lungs for the first two weeks–clinging to my leg and begging me not to leave. His teacher assured me this was normal and would end after a couple weeks. But still, I would climb in my car and cry. No one could love Matthias like his mama.

And babysitters, oh my goodness. I border on paranoid when it comes to leaving our kids with other people–especially when it’s a new sitter. I’ve been known to drop in on a sitter unannounced. Once when the boys were very little, maybe two and three years old, I stopped in unannounced to find the sitter watching a rated R movie while she was talking on the phone and the boys were in another room entertaining themselves. I was not impressed. We didn’t ask her to babysit again. The first time we went away overnight, we tried to Skype with the boys but I burst into tears on the call–I missed them so much. Instead of a quick hello from mom and dad, I was a blubbering mess.

But the good has far outweighed the bad. The sitter we used most when the boys were little is still a dear friend. Matthias never called her his babysitter, he always referred to her as his best friend. She played superheros with the boys, colored with them and made their favorite foods. When she got married and moved away, we cried because we all love her so much.

While it’s true, no one can love my boys like I do, there are many people who have showered our boys with affection and nurturing and made their lives better. These same people freed me up to get work done, take breaks and rest so I could come back and be a better mama. We’ve had amazing teachers who give all they are to work with our boys. We’ve had real life angels {disguised as teachers} who worked with David for years, finally getting him to take his first independent steps. With their encouragement he learned to walk! They tirelessly loved and pushed David. They gave him more than I could give him alone.

Being a mom is beautiful and hard–not only when I am with my kids but also when we are apart. It takes a lot of trust to let someone else care for my boys, but I’ve found there are incredible people who bring new experiences and new perspectives. As David’s gotten older we find ourselves needing more help, not less. I am humbled and grateful for the Lindsey, who gives so much to our boys. She adds vibrancy and joy–not only to our kids’ lives–but mine and Steve’s lives as well. Our family is better because of her.

When I am away from my children I never truly leave them. I carry their hearts inside mine. Even when we are apart we are always connected. I keep them close with their names around my finger or their initials close to my heart. They are my loves, my heart, my world.

They will be loved by many–but truly–no one will ever love them like their mama does.

This is the heartfelt meaning behind my jewelry. We’d love to make something just for you. Click here to find a piece that speaks to your mama heart. 

12 comments

  1. Where have you been all my life? Or- at least the last 8 years….

    I have two boys with Down syndrome and then gave birth last year to a healthy little girl who happens to be deaf.

    Thank you for sharing your stories. They resonate.

  2. I am a mother of 4 boys, my 6yr old is autistic. I know that drive to preschool and the sobbing. The worries of will they watch him well enough? And mine has no fear or sense of danger. He had always been in a preschool I worked in and I treasured the fact that every teacher he had I knew was doing the best for him. But Kindergarten came this year and my fears renewed. They were quickly quashed when I saw how wonderful the staff was and how much our schools staff loved him. We are truly blessed to have people in our boys loves that truly love them. My sons have all grown so much with the help of wonderful teachers and educational assistant.

    I love reading your posts. Sometimes as a mom you feel as if you are alone in your worries and that no one understands. We isolate ourselves in fear. It truly helps to see others dealing with their life struggles and taking in stride, finding successes, and sharing their feelings. Thank you!

  3. My daughter has a speech delay and some developmental delays as well. She has qualified for and is registered to attend Early Intervention preschool when she turns three in September. I am terrified! This article put my mind at ease. Trust me…running away to Mexico has crossed my mind as well. I pray that I have the strength to drop her off and not withdrawal her from this opportunity.

  4. I totally understand how difficult it is to leave your children at school when they are so little. I worked 25 years as a Special Education Assistant. These 25 years were so rewarding. The parents trusted me with their children, and they soon realized their children were in good hands. I cared for them as if they were my own.

  5. Being the Mother of 2 girls, one being special needs, I could totally relate to this. My oldest is now married with a daughter of her own and my young still lives at home and always will. Thank you for your encouraging testimony.

  6. I bawled reading your post as I am now going through a lot of these feelings. I have three children two older ones and one forever special 15 month old baby. Still in an infant car seat too and is tiny too. It truly is so hard to find someone who we can trust to babysit our children and the mama guilt does not help. But I do understand that I need me time. Thank you for this post. You have a beautiful family. ❤️

  7. My 4yo is autistic and “our” 1st day of preschool went much like yours. I am just so grateful for his teacher and the aides in the classroom. They love and encourage him (almost) as much as his mama. His teacher lights up (almost) like I do when he reaches a goal. But best of all he loves going there and that makes this mama’s day a little easier.

  8. I have so enjoyed reading your posts about your boys the past few weeks! I am a Speech Pathologist working in the public schools and We do love your babies (definitely not like momma, but we do our best). Their fears are our fears and their triumphs are ours too. We stand with all the mommas out there that sob when they drop their most perfect gifts to us each day. Be encouraged momma!

    1. Yes you do. I can vouch for this! My daughter’s special education teacher cried when she did her evaluation which puts her into another class next year. Those who choose this field, what hearts they have!

  9. Hey nice post. I hope it’s alright that I shared this on my FB, if not,
    no worries just let me know and I’ll remove it.

    Regardless keep up the good work.

  10. What a sweet post. It is so good to hear your perspective. I am a teacher and I see the parents being a little nervous on the first day of school. I’ve made a habit of going out to the line 15 minutes before school starts on the first day and greeting each family individually. Even though my students are in sixth grade and more independent, it seems to put everyone at ease.

    1. Ah, what lucky students! Even in 6th grade, 11 & 12, most everyone is a little apprehensive of starting school. To have a teacher take the time to welcome them, to really welcome them b/c she likes them, is such a blessing. Those are the teachers my kids remember the most, even as they are college students now. They still appreciate the profs who like teaching, like students…. God bless. You have a gift, you are a gift.

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