Friday, December 23, 2005

Baby thoughts

I love babies. They're so sweet and cuddly, and they smell heavenly. I love everything about babies. Even the not so fun stuff, like puke and dirty diapers and getting up 5 times a night. (Okay, I don't love those things, but they're worth doing in the long run.) I've not had any children of my own yet, but I've helped to raise several from birth and I've done the dirty work. I still love it - and I want kids of my own.

In kindergarten, I told my teacher I wanted 24 kids. Her eyes got all buggy and she just gave me a shocked laugh before saying, "Oh, no. That's a lot of kids. You don't want that many."
I assured her I did. Maybe even more.

In sixth grade, I realized how silly that was. Nobody can raise 24 kids these days. Despite the great examples given in "Yours, Mine and Ours" and "Cheaper By the Dozen". I recognized that 8 would be the most I could handle, six would be okay if I had to settle. For some reason I still got insane laughter at these comments.

In high school, I realized I couldn't afford to have 8 kids. I realized 6 would have to be my limit. But I was okay with this. Once graduated, I begin taking in these newborns that needed our help and with in six years had four on my hands. I loved it. It was stressful and expensive and sometimes I cried myself to sleep over one problem or another - but I wouldn't trade it for the world.

Those four are getting quite big now. Definitley not babies anymore, but I still love them to pieces. People ask me if I still want kids after all of this. My answer? YES. Most definitely. But I think four would be plenty. At this rate though, I need to start having kids soon, because if I wait much longer I'll talk myself down to none. Just kidding, not likely to happen.

In all seriousness though, and maybe this sounds silly to some of you, but with all the kids running around, there are days when I ache to hold a baby once again. Especially one that is mine. And it's not just because they're cute and cuddly. There's a connection to the heavenly realm that is still present in a baby. You look into their faces and you can see pure love and trust. You can practically smell the scent of paradise still clinging to them. It brings out the best in you. You want to protect, cherish and nurture this little person. You want to share with them all you've learned and in return feel that immense love returned to you. It's a beautiful thing.

It's just hours from Christmas, and whether you believe Jesus was born on December 25th or not, it is the day that most people celebrate His birth. It's at this time of year that I think more fully on how Mary must have felt, and I wonder. Did she ache for a baby to hold? Did she dream of having a family? Did she want lots of kids to chase? When she held her firstborn and looked into his eyes, did she realize just how much love was going to be returned? Did she smell heaven's perfume in his hair? Did she feel the terror and excitement and joy all wrapped in one?
I can only imagine how much greater her questions must have been in the days that followed, but in those first moments when she held him in her arms. She looked at him as any mother would - in awe.

I wish the same for you. Pick up your kids, grandkids, nieces and nephews, or the nearest child. Try looking at them with the same love and awe that Mary felt that night. That's how Jesus looks at you. Don't forget that this year as we celebrate with our families. It all started because of a parents love for their child. Because a Father loved us so much He sent his only Son to save us. Doesn't He deserve to have all that love returned? How will you return His love this year?

Have a Blessed Christmas,

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