Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Worth the Wait

Today is my daughter's birthday. There's so much I could say but so little time to think about saying it. Her birthday is always that way, but surprisingly she has never blamed me for the poor planning! Years ago I wrote this piece during the Advent season, so I'll recycle it again.

The baby came two days after Christmas-- out to meet a gasping mother and a pale, shaken father. The baby’s face was unbelievably red and indescribably beautiful. She had been expected for several weeks. While her father had slept, her mother had walked. Down the hall, into the living room, around the Christmas tree, the mother plodded silently. The baby inside was silent but not still. Stretching, rolling, reaching, turning, she reminded her mother, I’m here, I’m here, I’ll come, you can wait. Her mother reminded herself, it will be worth it. Worth all this. Yes, worth it.

Was this really Christmas, the mother wondered as she looked out the window of an empty nursery. Lights blinked outside. Christmas for me will be late this year, the mother thought. But worth the wait, the baby, still spinning, told her.

Years later the mother learned what the baby was doing during their wait. A swimmer from the beginning, she was arching her back, ready to push off, waiting for a good start. A good start is worth the wait.

Christmas is a start, a good start. Worth the wait. Yes, worth it.