Listen to the audio recording of this message.
Dear Holy (Everyday) Child,
You are welcome, just as you are, right now, into the very center of my heart and my home. Please, come in even though it’s only virtual. Perhaps you feel a little awkward, maybe even a little scared, I do. First meetings are delicate. You think you don’t know me, but I am a mother and the mother I am longs to give you a heartwarming, soul-filling hug.It feels right to have you here, imagining your heart beating against my heart. You, the most precious gift life offers – a child. You increase the measure of my heart. I have always felt this way. Do you know that my mother tells me that my classmates/friends called me “Mom” when I was but 7 years old?
I almost didn’t write to you – to invite you in. You see, I think that I’m no one particularly special. I’m an average middle age, suburban American mom. I feel that there are other moms who do great things; who write really well; whose experiences are more pertinent or valuable to you. I suspect that they are ‘better’ than I am. I think of myself as an “as common as dirt” sort of woman– kind of a like Mother Earth, it occurs to me as I write this (though that seems presumptuous). I make mistakes and do the best I can – but if my love for you, my deep and abiding acceptance of who you are and how you are makes the tiniest bit of difference in your life, or brings you even the smallest measure of comfort then I must in some way let you know – I love you. I love you the same way I love the sons to whom I gave birth – before I knew them, I loved them, too. I love you – all of you. I do. Pinky swear.
So, imagine coming in. Sit at my big country-style tables (we’ve put two of them together because we have regular family friend gatherings with lots of food and there are usually at least a dozen people gathered here). Now that we have a quiet moment together, let me get you something to drink and a snack of some kind. I have no idea what I’ve got on hand…. Please, tell me all about you – about the amazing, brave soul choices you’ve made – about the cost you’ve paid to be you – about how I can best nurture and support you. Later, we’ll gather the gang of loving, laughing friends and family around these tables for Christmas Eve and we’ll exchange and open gifts. Now that our children are older – I’ll rise earlier and open the stocking stuffed with goodies I most likely put there before I went to bed. I’ll stuff one for you, too, with your name embroidered on it.
Later still, I’ll probably rouse those boy/men I call my sons and we’ll open the tree. There is “a way” that’s done! We pick presents one at a time – usually the youngest to oldest member of the family and you cannot choose a gift for yourself. My “Christmas” Grandma used to create rhyming gift tags for the presents. The poetry is poor but the laughter is sweet and the tradition continues sporadically. The tags must be read aloud by the chooser of the gift. At some point midmorning, we will pause for cinnamon buns, eggs and more coffee. We will nap at midday after the turkey is stuffed and on the BBQ and then, there will be a virtual repeat of the night before’s gathering with different food and the same people we love.
While we celebrate at Christmas, we’re actually more “solstice” celebrants. We celebrate the steady flame of love that lights and warms us through the winter and grows in us every time we gather and love each other. There is plenty of room for you. Oh, if you lend a hand with the dishes and clean up after dinner…. That’s all the gift I need, that, and your presence among us.