Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Saturday, December 02, 2006

O Tannenbaum

By Sariah S. Wilson

Today we went to a Christmas tree farm and cut down our own Christmas tree. My boys saw real reindeer, a fake Santa and went on a “sleigh” ride (more like a hayride including tractor and hay bales).

In so many ways, it was a wonderful day. Our tree is on the Charlie Brown side (we actually stopped going to this particular farm for a while because its selection had become so poor), but my family had so much fun. I think of the memories that we made today, memories that remind me of my own childhood when my parents somehow managed to find Christmas tree farms in Southern California. I loved that we spent hours looking for my mom’s perfect tree, and that said tree never, ever fit in the house and my dad would have to spend time cutting off branches and lopping off a good two feet from the top of the tree (as he had to do again this year).

As I looked at the chocolate moustache from the free hot chocolate on my 4-year-old’s face and watched my 7-year-old tell Santa what he wanted for Christmas, I felt an indescribable joy that only comes from spending time with your family. I can’t begin to explain the gratitude I feel to the Lord for little boys who suffered from all kinds of developmental delays behaving and speaking just like every other normal little kid. To hear my oldest tell Santa that he wanted “a Star Wars Lego ship” because he collects them, I almost started crying. This is a boy that we were told might never talk. I remember when he was three years old and didn’t speak, and how precious each and every word he says now is to me. I treasure their expressions of love in a way that I think is hard to understand unless you’ve been through a similar experience.

I am so grateful for these miracle children, and so grateful that I can share the experience of walking through green tree mazes looking for the perfect tree, taking in the pine scent, being warmed by hot chocolate, spending time watching the train display, poking around the gift shop and explaining to my boys what the life-sized Nativity set means, and how much Jesus loved them to lay down His own life for them.

I am thankful for compensatory blessings that I believe the Lord bestows when life gets rough. I might never have the experience of raising a child that the world considers normal. I will not know what it’s like to take development and progress for granted, to have a toddler that doesn’t have to spend hours a day in therapy and therapeutic play groups and working with specialists. But I do know the rapture of watching a child alternate his feet as he goes down the stairs. I know the thrill of having a child point to something (showing joint attention). I remember the first time that oldest called for me when he was little. I never take a word or a milestone for granted. Each and every moment with them is beyond rare, beyond precious. Their “I love yous” are literally etched on my heart.

As we start to prepare our home for Christmas, I've been thinking a lot about how Christ feels about my boys. I think of the overwhelming love He has for these special kids, and I thank Him every day that He decided to share a little bit of that with me.

P.S. - On a totally unrelated note I think Marnie Pehrson is a genius (anyone who can get a mailing list of 512,000 people is a genius) and while her launch may not have had all the success she wished for, I noticed that it did get her up as high as #60 on B&N bestseller lists. That is very, very impressive. Congrats to Marnie!


At 12/05/2006 9:26 AM, Blogger Stephanie Black said...

Sariah, thanks for a very thought-provoking and beautiful blog. You make me want to stop and appreciate the countless little miracles that happen every day.


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