It was twelve years ago today that you stole my heart. My firstborn. I'm a mama for the first time! Living in another state from all of our family members was a challenge. No baby sitting available for the new and inexperienced mother! But what a blessing. Just you and me, kid. You with severe reflux and a very sore tummy. I with bleary eyes, holding you, rocking you, dancing with you, walking with you and keeping watch day and night. Is he breathing? Is he hungry? Is he cold? Is he lonely? My "burden" was light when I sat up with you through the night. Caring for you was a privilege and a joy.
Remember our first Christmas Eve? Of course you don't, but I will never forget. I was discharged from the hospital in the evening and we were just able to make Christmas Eve Mass. I had nothing in my closet that would fit and no time or energy to search further so I wore sweatpants. I was embarrassed to wear those clothes on such a special night and kept my hospital ID (which I had not time to remove) visible hoping someone would notice that I wasn't your everyday slob. Your Daddy put on a tie. You wore a little yellow sleeper that was much too large. He held you in the crook of his arm and you almost disappeared there as he advanced to receive Jesus in the Eucharist. I was hiding behind him while slinking up the aisle and could see people point at you and gasp and exclaim at the sight of such a tiny baby. I forgot all about my sweatpants in the joy and pride of motherhood.
It's not always easy for a kid to have a birthday so close to Christmas. Time is short. Money is short. But you have never complained. And I can not imagine a more perfect beginning to our life together. There is no Christmas that I do not remember the particular joy of your birth.
Today, you are excited and truly grateful for the gift of a refurbished guitar that you have already been playing for a year. But now it is your own and that means something to you. You can't wait to play well enough to offer your own gift of praise before the Lord. I am so proud of you.
I have never loved you more. I am incredibly grateful to have the opportunity to love you and pray that the good Lord will cover my failings so that you may grow to be the man He has made you to be. This Christmas, I stand yet again before our Infant King and thank Him for the gift of my son.