It’s a little window of time.
Filled with excitement, mixed with worry, mixed with wonder.
Waiting at the airport.
Waiting for the call.
Waiting for the kiss.
Waiting for the letter.
Waiting for the pass.
Waiting for the decision.
Waiting for the ring.
Waiting for Santa.
Waiting for the next contraction.
Waiting for the fish.
Waiting to begin the journey.
And then . . .
and then. . . .
Until the waiting begins again.
Hey, little girl.
Soak it up.
All that love shining right towards you because
I’m your momma and I love you through and through.
There may be other babies but to me,
You are you.
And I love you just the way you are.
I’m your momma.
And I’ll never stop loving you.
I feel the same, little girl.
You can touch him.
He’s not just the man of your dreams.
He’s your daddy.
And I chose him just for you.
He will show up.
He will know your favorite color.
He will teach you how to fish and how to garden and pass a ball.
He will tell you he loves you and even better,
He’ll show it.
He’s a good, hard-working man.
And he’s your daddy.
Anyone who has been faced with a chronic illness or disability can relate . . .
You wish it away.
You resign to recognize there are so many others who wish the same. . .
For it to go away.
Until the sickening realization that it may not.
It may for some, but not you.
For you, it stays.
And you wonder- why me?
You look to God, you look to your family and friends and you know,
it’s your burden to bear.
So what are you going to do with it?
We weep. We mourn. We lament.
And then. . .
And then. . . .
We rise again.
And we wish it away again every day.
The holidays are here and with it a storm of emotions.
Joy, anticipation, dread, and resentment all in the same room mixed with a warm and fuzzy expectation.
For some, it is a time to celebrate.
For others, sadness and anger dominates.
And yet, regardless of our buried relics, this season demands a cease fire.
Patience in the face of indignation.
Understanding in place of incredulity.
Kindness over judgement.
Because on Christmas of 1914, even the Germans and the British ascended their trenches to sing Christmas carols.
And if they can, so can we.
You see a small girl in big, white boots and I see so much more.
I see the discarded shoes belonging to her three sisters and the slippers belonging to her granny.
I see the matchbox car parked next to the princess toys that define my third-born.
I see my husband’s favorite sweatshirt hanging from the coat rack. We have no idea how we acquired this sweatshirt. It just appeared in our house one day and has yet to leave his side.
The nightlight represents the light that chases away my daughters’ fear of the dark.
And that white Tupperware from the 70s belonging to my mother-in-law and filled with flour is temporarily sitting on the bench to make room for all of the Thanksgiving sides in the refrigerator.
A picture is a thousand words.
So look closely at yours.
Because the small things aren’t worth missing.
No, I cannot understand where you are coming from.
And yes, I realize you feel the same.
So, instead, let’s agree to disagree.
30 miles from the nearest stoplight, I breathed a sigh of relief and the scent of fresh manure.
It was Thanksgiving and we were in the country.
No Wi-Fi and spotty cell-service, I celebrated the disconnect.
Forced to focus on the immediate needs of our immediate family, I found myself face-to-face with an uncomfortable reality:
How often am I looking for distraction?
On top of a baby with special needs, our just-turned four-year-old has been increasingly demanding of our attention this past year, pushing us past our breaking point.
And yet every time I look for a solution, I find her need to connect more with us- her parents.
Third-born, she craves it. Her behavior refuses to be forgotten.
And yet, exhausted, how much more do we have left to give?
We have more.
Because when everything else fades away, aside from the manure, nothing else matters.