My People

My People
My matched set of grandchildren - Oliver and Cosette

Thursday, December 25, 2008

seasons of life

Pop and Ryan nap

Sarabeth, Marquee, Cody and Austin
My Three Sons! Ryan, Cody and Austin

Jamie and Sarabeth pose with their new Barbies

There was a time when my kids had to be given a "no getting up before (blank) a.m." order for Christmas morning. We have now evolved to the stage of me being awake long before the kids and trying to stay quiet so they can sleep in and therefore be more pleasant throughout the day. I also had to make sure that I didn't wake up as early since I will have a long day... and a long drive back home around the time I'm usually sleeping or at least nesting.

I've done the single mom Christmas before. The hardest part for me is Christmas morning... not having anything under the tree to open. This year I collected all my gifts at the family Christmas and saved them for this morning so while the boys are opening their gifts, I have something to open. I'm a big believer in opening on Christmas morning. Last year we didn't exchange our gifts until Michael's family Christmas party a few days after Christmas. That was... just wrong... but I was trying to be open to establishing new traditions with my new husband. C'est la vie.

Ryan spent the night with us so I have my oldest and youngest sleeping peacefully in the next room. They had some good bonding time last night. Cody spent the evening hanging out with Marquee's family. You're going to have some of that as your kids get older... it's just a season of life. It really doesn't bother me. I have two out of three...

Last night we went to the Christmas Eve service at church. Sarabeth sat beside me and I just enjoyed her so much... she's able to read and so we shared a hymnal together and she sang every word of every song in her sweet little six year old voice. Her mom played the bells so we listened to hear the bells... during the sermom both Sarabeth and Jamie got restless. Angie had Jamie at the other end of the row. Sarabeth got a bit out of hand at one point and received a finger pointing from her father which snapped her back into line. I also broke out the sharpie markers and drew holly leaves on both of us. Ryan spent most of the church service TEXTING.... I gave him the same finger pointing but it's lost it's magic. Instead I punched him after the service... "DUDE! You don't TEXT in church!".

We had the Lord's Supper and Sarabeth had several questions about what it all means and why she couldn't participate. In our faith we consider that only believers in Christ should share in the rememberance of his death, burial and resurrection by taking communion. Sarabeth asked, "when will I be old enough?" and I said, "Soon, honey... maybe even by next Christmas". Then she asked, "what do I have to do?" and so... there in the middle of a Christmas Eve service... I shared with the most precious child in my life... how important it will be for her to one day ask Jesus to come into her heart and to be baptized... and how after that, she will be able to take part in the things we do to symbolize that faith we have. Her little friend Jonathan was baptized last night. She said, "Does Jonathan get to do it?" "Yes. Jonathan gets to". At that point she had to scrutinize the audience to see if she could witness Jonathan actually taking the Lord's Supper. Sarabeth wanted to hold the bread... hold the juice... smell them... and she asked, "Is it REALLY blood?". "No... some people believe it becomes blood... we believe that it just reminds us of the blood of Jesus". She had a lot of questions... which is why she needs an Aunt Heather with whom she is comfortable enough with to ask anything. I hope she'll always ask me... and trust my answers. We have always had a special relationship but I know that seeing me every week, having me as part of her life all the time really has brought us closer.

Then we lit candles and sang Silent Night. Sarabeth got to hold her own candle. I watched her like a hawk (I'm nervous around fire) and then Jamie held her own little candle and there was this beautiful, peaceful moment where Jamie was standing - staring at the candle - singing Silent Night - and I don't know if I've ever seen her look more precious. It really brought a tear to my eye!

Afterwards Ryan, Austin and I found a pizza buffet place that was open for dinner. I've always tried to have a special meal with my boys every Christmas Eve - we haven't for the past two years - so it was nice to return to that tradition. Then afterwards Ryan wanted to find a place to buy beer..... we live in a mostly dry county... and it was 8pm on Christmas Eve... not much was open... and since I don't drink... I had no idea where I could find a place to buy beer. We decided that I would go home and start watching It's A Wonderful Life while my boys went on a beer run. A bit different from leaving out milk and cookies for Santa... but this is what happens... our children grow and our lives change. It's not a bad thing...

Life is different for me now... and Christmas is a bit different from how it's been over the past two years. Different isn't always bad. I have more peace... more comfort... more joy... I'm blessed... I have survived the most difficult year of my life and here it is... Christmas. Life does go on!

May you all feel a special touch from the baby in the manger... may you feel a spirit of hope... the peace that passes all understanding... may you feel joy... and may you know that you are loved. God is good. The more things change, despite what season in life, God is good.
love and hugs!


Emmi said...

Merry Christmas sweetie. Hope you continue to have a very blessed holiday.

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

Merry Christmas and wishes for a safe trip for you. 'On Ya'-ma

Myra said...

Merry Christmas to you and your family!

Michelle said...

Merry Christmas Heather. Glad you got to spend it with the ones you love.

Take Care

sober white women said...

I am so glad that you had a nice Christmas.

Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas, Heather. I hope the New Year is full of faith, hope and promise. Love you!