She’s 8

Just a quick little snippet in the quiet before the storm. So Maggie’s 8 today. At 11:11 am, she moved that little bit closer to teenager (pre-pre-teen, as she calls it) and a couple more of my hairs went grey. She woke me up at 7:00 by snuggling into the bed & after some mild procrastination on my part, got Steve & I up an in the dining room for her presents. She seemed very pleased with her gifts (2 books, Tuck Everlasting & The Phantom Tollbooth; a friendship bracelet kit & a box with a new scrapbook & some supplies, including a bunch of my kit papers in 8×8 for her) even though there wasn’t any big, gargantuan-expensive super gift in there for her. After the gifts, we had birthday cake for breakfast. I made it for her last night (triple-chocolate with vanilla Funfetti frosting) and we eschewed protocol by eating it with milk for breakfast. Bill Cosby ran through my head the whole time. (Extra credit for those who got that reference) Then I made her cry. I pulled her over & told her that even though it’s been a rough year for her, what with feeling less loved than she’d like and all the extra stress & grumpiness on my part, I love her more than she’ll ever know. I told her, “You were my first. The one I prayed for. I waited so long for you & I simply couldn’t love you any more than I do. You are, and always will be, my special, precious girl.” We both cried very much.

Off for gift wrapping. I always put the present wrapping off till the last minute & then have 50 gifts to get wrapped in one afternoon. Steve went in the dining room & I went in the living room and we wrapped our presents to each other. Took me about 10 minutes to wrap his and then I was banished in the living room, unable to leave. I have a feeling that the gift-giving is going to be lopsided this year. I hate it when I feel my presents aren’t good enough! We listened to some funky gospel Christmas music and I played around with voice-posting on LiveJournal, which I couldn’t get to work. Grrr. Steven is flying on some sort of Christmas-spirit/sugar/crack high and can barely stand still long enough to breathe. His desire to tear into packages is crackling out of his skin. Tomorrow ought to be interesting. I think we’ll be finished with presents at about 6:45 am. Then we’ll get the soul-crushing, “I want MORE preseeeeeeeeenttttttsss!!!” wail. Maybe if I continuously feed him rum & cokes or something, he’ll slow down & rest. (Just kidding. No protests, please)

So, now I’m at home while Steve’s at church with the 2 older kids. Henry’s still napping and I’m soaking up the quiet before Christmas actually begins. The house is a mess, there’s still cake to be made, but it’s QUIET. Enveloping me like a big, blanket filled with quiet. With a side order of quiet. Ahhhhhh. They’ll be home soon and we’ll pack up to go see Steve’s parents. Presents & Chinese food for all. (Fa-ra-ra-ra-ra…) Then, when we come back, we’ll pull out Maggie’s birthday cake and sing Happy Birthday to Jesus. Because that is what it’s all about.

I think Christmas Eve is my favorite night of the year. There’s something really awe-filled, quiet and solemn about it every year. I love the song Breath of Heaven for this very reason. Filled with the wonder, awe, fear, uncertainty, and all the other feelings that Mary must have felt all those years ago. A teenager, suddenly pregnant with what she’s told is the Son of God. With a fiance who must have been confused, angry, and wondering if he was being lied to. But they both trusted. They both entered into the unknown, trusting that God would work through them and care for them along the way. I just love to think about Mary on this day. What she must have been going through as she started labor on the back of a donkey. As inn after inn had no room for them & she wondered where on earth she was gonna have this baby. As she walked into the stable, looked around, and realized she was going to birth the Savior of the world into a dirty, smelly, unsanitary barn. With no one there but Joseph to guide her through it. But….I wonder what it must have been like when it was all over. When she held that baby & looked into His face. When she looked into the very eyes of God. When she touched His cheek with her lips. As she sang the first lullaby to Emmanuel. Talk about amazing. Merry Christmas, everyone. May you have a bit of wonder, awe & amazement tonight.