When I became a mother 6 1/2 years ago, I was unprepared for the way it would change my life forever. It came with a level of responsibility I had never known and I was forced to reevaluate my priorities at that very moment my doctor said "He's here."
But the most important way motherhood has changed my life is the way it has opened my heart. I read somewhere that having a child is like having your heart walking around on the outside of you and that's so true. Suddenly I felt a kinship with all other mothers in the world throughout time. I can feel the pride of a mother whose child wins a gold medal at the Olympics, the shame of a mother whose child commits a horrendous crime, and the indescribable pain of mothers who have lost a child to sickness or war. I routinely cry when I watch the news. I try not to watch the news.
This is the second Christmas I've had a brand new baby. This year I have Luke who will be 3 months old at Christmas and William was born on December 14, 2007. That year I had thoughts and feelings about Christmas I had never had before. I looked down at my sleeping infant and felt that same connection between myself and Jesus' mother, Mary. And I saw baby Jesus in little William's face.
Don't we all see God in our babies? They are fresh from heaven, the sweetest, most innocent beings on this earth, more precious than anything we could ever imagine. And this is what Jesus was, only more so because he was God.
He had sweet little dimpled hands like my Luke does. He didn't have teeth or hair. He was completely dependant on his earthly parents to carry him, feed him, diaper him. I realize now how amazing it was that he humbled himself like that. How difficult would it be for me to be that dependant on someone?
When did Jesus learn to crawl? To walk? Talk? What was he like as a child? Was he like my William? Did he giggle uncontrollably when tickled? Did he sing silly songs? Was he a perfect child or did he sometimes throw tantrums or hit other children? Did Mary kiss his soft skin and cry at the thought of him growing up? Did his smile light up her world?
As much as I love my four beautiful boys, how much more could Mary have loved her son, knowing that He was sent by God to save all of humanity? At Christmastime, especially, these are the things I think about.
Merry Christmas to all the mothers out there! We truly are blessed beyond words, aren't we?