Thank goodness I've put off your special post for this long, because now I can slip it in today- just a short, sweet note to you- before I finally collapse from exhaustion.
It's been a wonderful couple of days, but they've surely been busy. After weeks of preparation, stress, and a long day of travel, we finally all settled ourselves at your Nana and Papa's house and put together an exciting Christmas morning for your brother and sister. Though this was Abby's third Christmas, it's the first one she's really been old enough to appreciate, and for Michael, who was still too young to understand what was happening, it was special all the same just by virtue of being his very first.
I have lots of pictures, and some stories to tell, about today, but they will have to wait until tomorrow.
This evening is about you, and how special it has been to carry you with me through this Christmas celebration. Though it's been tough for me this Advent season- between my sorrow over recent world events, the stress I've felt over my inability to plan and organize, and my inability to even get out to Mass until the fourth Sunday due to family illnesses- to even internalize that Christmas was approaching, I really began to feel connected to everything this past Sunday. In particular, I felt a special kinship with Mary, being with child myself, and wondered at how she must have been feeling as she completed her own intimate journey with her son on the day that Christ was born.
I'm also starting to feel more connected to you, and have been attempting to prepare more fully for your arrival, as I spend my very last week in the second trimester. When I hit 27 weeks on Friday, we'll be in the homestretch, which I now know from experience will simultaneously feel like the longest and shortest three(ish) months of my life.
I wonder how it will all seem to you, as your senses develop further, and your movements become more controlled, but the space in which you exist seems to disappear around you. That's when I'll start to see elbows and backbones poking out at odd angles (it's already happening, to some degree), and things will get less and less comfortable for us both. I'm a little scared by the prospect, but a little excited, too. I've got a fresh chance to face this trial with grace and courage, and hopefully much more appreciation than misery, than I've done in the past. After all, it may be tough, but it's still such a blessing, and I will mourn the day when I no longer have the opportunity to go through it all again.
I'm feeling pretty optimistic about my chances of making it to the end with more smiles than complaints today, but I suppose that's one of the many great things about Christmas: it can leave you feeling pretty good inside when you're surrounded by so many people who love you.
Merry Christmas, little Raspberry. I'll be seeing you, alongside your siblings, on the "outside" next year.