"I wish it was Christmas day..."
"I wish it was Christmas Eve cause then we could open these presents and then Santa would come..." (Being nine, David is a little more savvy on the logistics of gift receiving around here.)
"Oh, yeah... then I wish it was Christmas Eve."
"But guess what? We get to go to Gammie's on Sunday and open presents there."
"We do? David, you're gonna love what I got you..."
"Is it a toy?"
"Oh, yeah... it's a toy and it's something you're gonna really like!"
I could go on, but I fear my transcription of the conversation doesn't really do it the justice it deserves. Hard to convey the gently sweetness of their voices talking back and forth in the stillness of the morning about what they picked out for each other and for me. Hard to convey in words the excitement in their hearts. In that moment, it was even harder for me to believe that my children were old enough to get themselves out of bed and wander into the dining room and have a coherent conversation with one another. Seems like just yesterday I was feeding them their bottles and wiping their spit-up of their chin or my shoulder. How has it come to be that they sit and discuss their anticipation of Christmas?
There are so many moments with children that are stressful. And, at Christmas, the stress seems to multiply with the worry about what to get them, how to make ways to fill their dreams, answering the questions about how many days left and how many presents and when we'll be opening them over and over. Sometimes, for me at least, the joy of my children is overshadowed with the earthly reality - the reality of taking care of, disciplining, homework, laundry, wiping up spills, preparing snacks and meals, getting them up and out the door in the morning. But there are these beautiful moments, quiet and still, that happen when you need them most to remind you of the pure joy of your children. That they do love you and each other. That they are still simple and innocent. And they are mine. God gave them to me. Some days, I'm ready to give them back, but this morning, I cherished for a moment just how blessed I am to have them in my life.