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Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve

It's Christmas Eve. Ben and Hugh are tucked in for the night. Marc is wrapping some last minute gifts. I'm trying to stay away from the pies until my stomach has recovered from our Christmas Eve dinner of the most delicious Maple-glazed ham. It has been a wonderful day, going back and forth from my parents' house to ours, trying to stick closely to our nap time routines but still be a part of the fun traditions and activities.

One of the highlights was acting out the story of the birth of Jesus, with my dad narrating from Luke 2 and other verses of scripture. It should be fun to go back and watch the recording we got of it. Since Hugh is the youngest member of the family here, he played the part of baby Jesus, which meant that Marc and I were Joseph and Mary. Ben was the lone lamb who was more interested in wandering than sitting calmly in our imaginary manger. Then we had three shephards - mom, Malachi and McKayla. The three wise men - John, JB, and Denison. And two angels - Dawnette and Talea, who had the cutest lines to repeat. (We had a sick Truman laying down in the other room, who wasn't able to play his part.)

Later, as I was feeding Hugh just before putting him down for the night I thought back to his birth and reflected on many of the feelings that came with his arrival - the fear, the panic, then the relief. I still find myself thanking God for his life that was preserved. I was so honored today to finally get the part in the nativity story that I've always coveted.

I thought of Tracey, who just a year ago was so close to bringing Benjamin into the world. What was it like to be in her shoes? What would it be like to carry a child for nine months and then place him in the arms of another mother? How does it feel to make a sacrifice like that, even if you know it's the right choice for you and your baby?

I don't know how Tracey did what she did. She gave us the greatest gift. Our little Benjamin. I'll never fully understand what it takes to make that kind of selfless choice, but I'll spend the rest of my life making sure Benjamin knows the unconditional love it takes to do what she did. 

Then, I thought of Mary, the mother of the Son of God. As I looked down on my little Hugh, so peacefully cuddled against my chest, I wondered what feelings she might have had as she welcomed her son into the world. Was she overwhelmed with feelings of inadequacy? Was she afraid of the sacrifices that would be required of her and/or her son? Did she wonder if she'd fulfill her responsibilities well enough to raise her son in the right way?

I don't know how Mary accomplished what she did to raise and nurture the baby boy who would become the Savior of the world. I can't imagine the burden that she must have felt at times, fully aware of her own inadequacies and weaknesses.

I feel so indebted tonight to some great mothers, my own included, who have fulfilled roles and accomplished great things that have directly blessed my life. I feel a bit overwhelmed at my own responsibilities to be the kind of mother that my boys need me to be. I'm grateful, at least, to have so many good examples to follow after. 

It is really a wonderful time of year. A time of reflection. A time of gratitude for blessings. A time of renewed determination to be a bit better. A time to spend with family, making memories and strengthening bonds. 

Speaking of, I should go and do just that. Marc is snuggled comfortably on the couch, saving a spot just for me. 

Merry Christmas! I sincerely hope this season is one filled with love and hope for good things to come for all of you.


Mandi said...

Wonderful! You said so many things that have been on my mind during this blessed time of year. So I'll just add an amen! I love you! Merry Christmas!

Allred Mom said...

Wonderful post, Megan!
What a blessed Christmas! Love you!

Liz said...

Merry Christmas!! I hope your family had a wonderful Christmas morning and the boys enjoyed this special time!!