Friday, December 24, 2010
The wonder of it all
For lack of a better word, there is really something "magical" about this time of year. And experiencing the Christmas season with little ones makes it that much more enchanting. For instance, when it snowed, really snowed, for the first time you can bet Jack and I were the first kids in the neighborhood out the door.
The first thing I did was teach him how to catch snowflakes. He picked it up rather quickly. I'm a proud mom.
We found some sleds up in the attic and immediately tested them out on the driveway. Jack was wild with excitement. "More! More!" he said, huffing and puffing as he tried to climb up the snow-laden driveway under layers of snow clothes. We soon graduated to the back hill and when he went down all by himself for the first time I started clapping and jumping up and down like he just scored the winning touchdown in the last 5 seconds of a game. The neighbor kids on the next street over kept glancing our way, trying to figure out what made our yard much better than everyone else's.
And when Jude woke up from his nap he too was enraptured by the beauty from his warm spot by the window. He just sat and watched the snow fall ... and his brother running around like a wild man. Then he watched Jack run around like a wild man inside the house after Mommy gave him his first sample of hot chocolate.
Jude's had his share of the tastes of the season as well. He just loves the Christmas tree. I've spoken before of his habit of tugging on branches and pulling off ornaments. You may wonder why I ever let him get close enough. Well, it's his face, when he sees the tree. His eyes light up and his arms start going in circles and he kicks his little legs in an attempt to propel himself forward. I'm a sucker for indulging in what truly delights the little guys.
A few weeks ago when we first got our Christmas tree I brought him close enough to touch the branches. He ran his chubby little hand over the needles, grabbed a sparkly bulb, yanked it off the tree, held it in front of his face, then looked up at me and broke out into a huge toothless grin. I melted.
And this is what I love most about being a mom. Everything is new, everything is exciting. Even though I'm older and have been through my fair share of Christmases. Even though I've picked out over two dozen Christmas trees in my lifetime, intent on getting the perfect one each year. Even though I've hung the ornaments every year and could probably tell you if one was missing. Even though I prefer to sleep in on Christmas morning. Even though I've had enough cups of hot chocolate that the only ones worth getting giddy about are from a little shop in New York City and contain a long list of ingredients. Even though the little hill in the back yard doesn't really compare to the sledding trails we used to carve out of the Pennsylvania mountains when I was growing up ... Well, I get to relive each of these moment through the eyes of my children.
It's those boys. They make me want to do everything bigger and better. To dig my toes in a little farther, hold on a little tighter and savor the feeling a few minutes longer. They make me want to live life to the fullest, just because I know they are tagging along. It's the best feeling ever.
So when I see Jack get a face-full of snow for the first time ... and thoroughly enjoy every freezing second of it. Or when I see Jude fall in love with a Christmas tree during his first year of life, it makes me want to feel that way too. To remember again the wonder of the season.
And so when I hear the Christmas story for the thousandth time, when I see a nativity scene and hear Jack point out "bebee Jee-us", when I my boys the story about a baby in a manger, and when I listen, really listen, the the words in "Silent Night" I want to feel the same way. To remember just how awesome this story really is the first time, and every time.
So in the midst of the lights, cookies, presents, time with friends and family ... never lose the wonder. The wonder that God sent his only Son to earth, in the form of man. Born of a young virgin, laid in a manger, proclaimed by angels to a group of shepherds, visited by wise men following a star, rescued from the hands of Herod, and reared by a humble carpenter. The wonder of Christmas. My prayer this year is "God, I want to be awed by your precious gift this year and every year... May the story never get old."
Hoping you have a happy and wonder-filled Christmas!