In our house there is a universal truth, which stated is: Ollie loves Hannie B. best of all.
It's a fact and no one tries to dispute it. He lights up when she enters a room. He giggles when she sings silly songs and makes goofy faces at him. He turns at the sound of her voice. He loves her like no other.
As I listened to General Conference this weekend, and specificially a talk by Elder M. Russell Ballard, Hannie B. was on my mind. He talked about the ability and desire to nuture that is inherent in woman and young women. I see it in Hannie B. She is a natural and gifted nurturer.
Last week a mock newspaper came home from school filled out by HB. All of the boxes were cleverly done and filled with skilled little drawings. Favorite foods were noted. Memorable stories were retold. But my favorite box was the one titled "What I Want To Be When I Grow Up". There were two simple words written there: A Mom. I love this girl so much!
Here's where the guilt part comes in. Yesterday Hannie picked up Ollie off the floor to bring him to me. He was fussy and needed a late afternoon siesta. As she made her way over to the kitchen, she tripped. I watched in horror as the slow motion played out. She didn't know what to do because she was clearly going down and she still had Ollie in her hands. So she let go of him and he went tumbling, face first onto the hardwood floor.
There was immediate crying - no - HOWLING on the part of both parties. Hannie was devastated. Ollie was scared and hysterical. I was frantic trying to assess the baby. I rushed up to Hannah to see if she was okay, and in the true test of a mother-soul, the first words out of her mouth were, "Is he okay? Is he okay?". Nevermind her own injuries, she just wanted Ollie to be okay.
He carried on for another forty-five minutes. All the while, Hannie paced back and forth guiltily wringing her hands while saying things like, "I am a horrible sister" and "Why won't he look at me?". After he had calmed down, I sat with my sweet daughter and explained to her in no uncertain terms that this was an accident. And it could have happened to me, or dad or anyone. And Ollie will wake up tomorrow and not remember that this happened, so she should do the same.
All seems to be well. But we are headed to the doctor just to make sure. From this experience it is clear to me that also inherent in the mother/nuturer is the ability to feel guilt when not necessary. I've lived it. Have you?