Thursday, December 6, 2007

A Family Illuminated

We all wonder if what we have to give is enough. Have we given them enough love, enough hugs, enough stimulation? Have we read enough stories, prepared enough healthy snacks, given enough support, enough encouragement? Enough. Enough. Enough. And this time of year, this most wonderful time of year, like no other, truly tests our resiliency as mothers. As we drag boxes out of garages and hang lights for all to see, so too are our fears of inadequacy dragged out and illuminated.

What to get them? Is it enough? Do they feel a connection to the holiday? to family traditions? Have we started family traditions? Are there enough decorations to make the house feel "Christmasy"? So many nagging questions race through my mind as chubby, dimpled fingers point out with glee each new encounter with "all things Christmas."

I want so badly for Christmas to mean something to them. I want it to be about warmth. About family. About time spent. And not about the toys or the food (although both are a nice perk), or the money spent. I want for them to create, hold dear, and look back on the same kind of warm memories that I have from my own childhood Christmases. And yet I worry whether or not I can create that for them. Don't we all?

And so tonight came as an unexpected and much needed blessing. A reminder, if you will, that as their mother, I am enough. I am capable. And that this season is not made special by a need to consume beyond our means, but by the memories made. And the time spent. And the family traditions created not through force of will, but through the spontaneous coming together of a family.

Tonight, for a few blissful hours, it was not my fears illuminated, but the glow of thousands of twinkly lights reflected in the eyes of two wonder-struck babes, traipsing through their first Christmas memories. Tonight was all that it should be as my little family established its first holiday tradition. Tonight, one more bit of the culture of our life together was brought to light. And tonight illuminates the way for many merry times to come.

See for yourself.

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