Wednesday, December 20, 2006

I'm so predictable

I wrote this last December, but it still holds true, and always will.)


My husband and I have a holiday tradition. Every year, close to Christmas, we get a babysitter, go out for Chinese food, buy all the last-minute

(WARNING: Santa spoiler ahead ....)

stocking stuffers and generally fall in love all over again -- with each other, with our children, and with the magic of Christmas. We talk about our days, about my parents and his, about holiday travel plans, about how we'll keep the youngest child happy and calm during the long Christmas Eve Mass. And we talk about how we can't believe how drastically our Christmases have changed over the years.

You see, when we married, we didn't want children. Children were nice enough for other people, but not for us. We didn't want the mess, the commitment, the responsibility. We were happy to be "child free" as opposed to "childless."

Then something happened. I became a Christian.

Oops. Short-circuit in the selfishness department. I began to long for a child. Soon, Atticus's heart caught up with mine in the procreation department, and we set forth to create a family. After some heartbreaking miscarriages, we had Anne. But only one child, Atticus said. One child is enough.

Then I became a Catholic.

Oops. Short-circuit in the openness to life department. We had Betsy. Several more heartbreaking miscarriages later, God awarded us with Ramona, and here we are. Falling in love again at Christmas time, and crazy, head-over-heels in love with our children.

And all because of of a Child born in Bethlehem two thousand years ago. Had Mary said, "No, thank you, I'd like to remain child-free," I would be childless. There would have been no conversion, no short-circuit, and most certainly, no joy. How does one thank God for that?

I always seem to do it in the same old, tired way.

I cry.

May you, too, shed some tears of ineffable gratitude this Christmas.


Momto5Minnies said...

Well that story was new to me, since I am new to blogging (only began in the summer). What a tale of love ... just beautiful.

I have read your conversion story and it is so incredible. God is good!

Scott said...

How beautiful. Feel free to post that one every year, so newbies like me can continue to share in the joy. :)

yesterthoughts said...

I missed this last year. It is so beautiful to read of your conversion of heart. Thank you for re-posting this!
God Bless You!

Faith said...

Karen, I am always so happy I'm Catholic when I hang out at your blog. What a good place to be!



..Michele Q said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
..Michele Q said...

Beautifully said Karen - I'm glad you shared it again. There are indeed many tears of gratitude here this year.

Liz said...

What a lovely way to begin the Christmas feast!

Donna said...

You can be assured of my tears. They come often.

Suzanne Temple said...

This was a great post, Karen, and well worth re-posting.

Jill said...

Thanks for posting this inspirational blog (which is not a repeat for me)!