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Archive for February, 2010

The Best Christmas Yet
Mommy and Christmas Baby

Aiden, nine months old at Christmas

It was going to be the best Christmas yet! Two of my children had been practicing all November and along with three other kids, comprised an adorable Christmas dancing team. Even my three-year-old son, who we originally claimed to have two left feet, was becoming the star of the show with his unique dancing style.

My youngest was nine months, and although he wasn’t part of the dance group, I planned to take him along to the shows they would perform in orphanages, hospitals and schools, to spread cheer in ways that only babies can.

The day before our first performance, Aiden woke up from his nap and I noticed a couple of spots on him. He had been a little fussy the previous day and the diagnosis was clear: chicken pox. My hopes that maybe he would get it very lightly were dashes when by the following morning, he was covered in spots. My mind raced through the next 10 days leading up to Christmas, picturing each of the programs I was planning to attend. I would no longer be able to do so. I spent the next two days home with my son, as everyone was out singing, dancing, performing and making Christmas special for others.

The third morning, as my two older kids headed out once more, my five-year old daughter asked, “Are you going to come watch us dance this time, Mommy?” I tried hiding the tears as I said, “No honey, baby isn’t feeling well and I need to stay home with him.” I finished fixing her hair and watched them all drive off once more before finally letting the tears fall.

“It isn’t fair!” I said to no one in particular (as no one was around). “I just wanted it to be a special Christmas with my children, seeing them dancing and have fun and give love to others. Was that too much to ask? Everyone else is having a great time. Why does it always happen to me?”

The baby was especially fussy so I put him down for a nap and booted up my laptop to check my mail. A friend had sent me some Christmas stories, which were usually a highlight of the season. From a young age, I would love sitting with my mother reading Christmas stories that would bring tears to our eyes; and this year I planned to read stories with my daughter. That day, alone in the house, I read about parents that nearly lost their faith due to having a child born with cerebral palsy. I read about a family that lost their father to cancer. I read about a single mother of six children, just trying to survive. I read about a boy who had no parents and nothing to give his favorite teacher, except love. Each story centered around the fact that love is not only the best part of Christmas, but the very reason for it, the essence of the whole season. Regardless of the difficulties they faced, they overcame, through the endless power of love.

My eyes fell on a quote I had posted to one of my friends a few days before: “Christmas is not a date. It is a state of mind.” Here I was, bemoaning my fortune at Christmas time, when I realized I am more blessed than so many others in the world, with a loving family, children and a purpose-driven life. I whispered a prayer of thanks for Jesus, the Love that came down at Christmas and changed the world forever.

My son stirred and rolled over, opening his eyes. I bent down to kiss his spotty forehead and told him, “You know what? This is going to be the best Christmas yet!” And so it was.

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