Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The Perfect Gifts

It was the most beautiful way to awaken.

Let me start by saying that usually on days we have no school, the children wake up and come running into my bed, begging for cartoons and donuts.

Not today.  It's Christmas Eve morning.  I faintly heard their sweet precious voices.  Boy is now 7, and he's lost multiple teeth, so the way he talks is changing by the day.  Girl is 5, as sweet as she is bold and sassy.

To hear them this morning ... it absolutely melted my heart.

"What do you think's in this one?"

**shake - shake** 

"Momma 'brang' this one home last night..."

*whispering* "maybe we can peek in this one, and she'll never know.."

They believe.  With everything they are and all they have, they believe.  They believe Santa Claus is coming tonight and will literally climb down the chimney and drop a load of gifts in the night.  They believe in the ridiculous elves on the shelves, and they believe in the magic.

In a few years, some kid at school will break the illusion.  Tell em there's no such thing as Santa.  Convince em their parents put the elves out as one more tool to make em act right.  And the charm of it all will be gone.

Just like that....

Just like everything in life.  It comes and goes.  Ebbs and flows.  Grows and dies.  We believe, and then we don't.  We think we know, and then we're shown a new way.  Over and over again.

It was exactly 7 years ago today, I brought my son home from the hospital.  He was born on the winter solstice, December 21st, the shortest day of the year.  The nurse insisted I be carted out of the hospital that afternoon in a wheelchair.  I protested of course, but she got her way.  I felt completely ridiculous when she pushed me out to the car.  "I can walk!" I kept insisting.

But then she handed me my baby boy and in the most cheerful way said "Merry Christmas!"

I was knocked to my knees.  All my confidence -in that one moment- gone.  She's really giving him to me to take home?  She thinks I can do this?  She must be NUTS!

I sat in the back seat next to my first-born, so tiny in his car seat.  I was absolutely terrified.  Kept barking at his dad to slow down! don't turn so fast!  STOP!

And so it went...

Not having a clue.   But loving that child with my whole heart.  Trusting that if I listened to my heart, every decision, every lesson, every moment would be okay.

 We think we know, and then we're shown a new way.

Then came baby girl...  And here I am, 7 years later, having traversed landscape I never dreamed I'd see.  Joy unimaginable.  Heartbreak beyond what I believed I'd ever know.  Still, all is well.  Life is beautiful, and blessings are everywhere, if only we choose to see.

And today.... the presents are being shaken, the voices guessing what's inside, the excitement and laughter are palpable.

Those two have no idea that they are my most perfect gifts.