Most of the time, I'm much too busy trying my darndest to hold this fort down to dwell on the miracle that is my family. Every once in awhile, however, I'll look up from the work at hand and gaze in awe at the one, two, three, oh my gosh!, four thinking, breathing, independent persons stuffing this house just as full as can be with life. "Look what we made!" I'll then exclaim, in shock, to my husband, because it used to be, like fifteen minutes ago, just he and I staring forward into the great expanse known as, "the future," wondering what in the world it held in store for us. These days we rarely think ahead, so enthralling and exhaustingly consuming is the present.
This week, we're all about Christmas Pageants – specifically the one taking place at our home parish, St. Elizabeth's, starring my very excited children as the Angel Gabriel, a wise man, a shepherd, yet another angel, and the narrator (Elijah will be playing dual roles). The kids have been practicing like crazy after Liturgy the past few Sundays, but have been extremely tight-lipped about the details. "C'mon, tell us your one line, Mary!" we teasingly beg our preschooler but no way, no how will she budge. "It's a surprise," she explains curtly. And then we laugh and marvel at the fact that our four-year-old, our baby, has an existence separate from her mom and dad, that she's gone off and joined her siblings in the cultivating of her own ideas and opinions.
So soon, I will observe all of my sons and daughters, not clinging to my leg or snuggled up in my arms, but reenacting on a makeshift stage the birth of Christ. I know for sure it will hit me then, with the force of a speeding bulldozer – the significance of my own flesh and blood portraying that moment when God, Himself, took on our collective flesh and blood, changing everything. Speaking of miracles worth lifting our heads up from out of the sand to stare at open-mouthed and reflect upon! I pray these final days before the Feast of the Nativity include many such salvifically enlightening moments for all of us.