Christmas has never been my favorite time of year. I always found it to be full of the spirit of grasping, rather than the spirit of giving. Tedious and stressful, I went about the motions for my family's sake...that is until nine years ago.
Where I come from in New York, we had a Christmas blizzard the likes of which no one had seen in decades. The kind of harrowing snowstorm you see on the Weather Channel or in a Lifetime Television Movie. That year, it could have starred my husband and I as we tried to make our way through feet of snow to get to the hospital. Our daughter was on her way, my birthing pains keeping time with the Christmas bells tolling at our local church.
We got to the hospital, and it was dark. No one had power and the parking lot was sparing of cars, though someone managed to shovel a narrow goat path to the front door. We walked in, my husband leading the way like Sacagawea leading Lewis and Clark, only to be asked, "Are you expected?"
I opened my coat, and the poor lady behind the narrow sliding glass looked at my burgeoning belly, a muttered "Oh!" the only thing she could manage.
We were told to head up to Maternity, alone...no orderly flying through the halls with me in a wheelchair. It was so quiet, the only thing that went through my head was the line from Twas The Night Before Christmas, "Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse." It seemed like forever, but the elevator finally pinged, and the doors slid open onto the Maternity Ward, also eerily quiet.
I was checked in and off we went to delivery. From there it was as frenetic as any normal day in the hospital, and at 8:38am December 26, a delivery nurse handed us the greatest Christmas present of our lives...all 6lbs, 7oz of her!
Today, thank God, she is happy, healthy...and 9 years old.
So I want to wish my daughter a very Happy Birthday...and to everyone else, a Joyous Holiday!