At first I wondered whether bringing my baby to adoration was a less-than-brilliant idea . . . until he began to show me Jesus through his four-month-old eyes.
by Heidi Indahl
My husband tries to arrange for me to have the opportunity for weekend retreats a couple times each year. He knows that as a homeschooling mom of many young children, everyone benefits from me having this time. Usually, he and our kids will spend the weekend with Grandma, or I will go off to a retreat alone. Somewhat accidentally, I have fallen into the habit of always beginning my retreat weekends by taking over his Holy Hour shift followed by the rosary and daily Mass on Friday morning. I find that starting my time this way helps me fall into the correct mindset for the following days.
Starting my day with almost two hours at church is something I wish I could do more of, but just isn’t reasonable for this season of my life (and that’s ok!) so I appreciate the time I have that much more. One thing about being an open-to-life Catholic, however, is that every few years there is a little helper who is needing to join me for the weekend! Although I had my apprehensions, I decided to give my extended morning devotions and prayer time a chance with baby in tow on a recent Friday.
While I was not-so-secretly hoping he would sleep peacefully in his car seat through the entire event, he popped his eyes open just as soon as I set the carrier on the ground.
After nursing in front of the Blessed Sacrament, exchanging a few unholy smells, and christening the carpet in the chapel with partially digested milk, I was starting to wonder whether this was an event that was going to go down in the books as one of my less brilliant ideas.
Then I stood up to walk around with him and calm him down, and something entirely different happened. Have you ever taken a walk with a preschooler who has to stop and observe every ant, leaf, and stick along the sidewalk?
This is what being at adoration with a four-month-old required me to do.
As we walked around our small chapel, we stopped and looked at all of the pictures. We talked out loud about St. Therese and her roses, Mama Mary, and Jesus. We bowed to show Jesus our good respect (baby thought this was quite hilarious), and watched the flickering candle that we lit for our deceased family members.
While I was showing Tomas all of these parts of the chapel, I also noticed new things. I noticed the dedication of the chapel to a loved one. I noticed a prayer/poem inscribed above the artwork I had never seen before when my attention had been focused upfront. I observed the care and detail that had gone into the creation of this sacred space.
After a short time of walking around, I lay a blanket down on the floor and Tomas played while I sat quietly in adoration on my own. When he was bored and ready for more walking, instead of being disappointed in the disruption of my regular prayers, I was glad to show him around.
To include him in my time with Jesus, rather than try to make it all go according to my plans.
To see Jesus with 4-month-old eyes, and wonder.