indieBRAG Christmas Blog Hop

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What is Christmas?

From toddler toys to mistletoe kisses to picking out that first tree and hanging baby’s ornament, the brightest moments of bygone Decembers flicker through our minds, each one another warm reminder of how far we’ve come, and how much our perception of Christmas has changed. We grow from receiving to giving, and eventually learn that the only thing we really have to give is the gift of self. And we also learn that sometimes…we aren’t enough.

Well past the age of toys and mistletoe kisses and that first tree, our youngest daughter came and told us the happy news. She was ready to have a baby. My wife cried. I blinked a lot. After all, she was the daughter that wasn’t really sure she ever wanted to be a mother.

That Christmas season was pure fun with heaping piles of fluffy white snow brightening the short days and crackling fires warming the long nights. And lots of fanciful speculations. Would our next grandchild have red hair like his father or blonde like our daughter? Boy or girl? Tall or short? Calm or boisterous? Of course, none of that really mattered. We knew one thing for sure. The child would be beautiful.

The snow soon melted. Purple crocuses sprouted, followed by tall daffodils, and long telephone conversations that always ended with my wife saying, “Sometimes it takes a while, honey. Be patient.” The long days of summer came accompanied by even longer phone calls. “Are you checking your temperature? Have you two been tested?”

The snow returned, and the fire crackled, but that Christmas was less fun, marred by quiet quarrels. Usually, because I asked one question too many, or said something too positive, too hopeful, essentially, too clueless.

As the piles of snow shrunk, so did the length of the phone calls. And every parent of adult children knows what comes next. Silence. The problem might be the tenth job interview, or the twelfth law school application, or the next grandchild, but the solution remains the same, the parent simply must stop asking. Because every question, no matter how gentle, becomes another reminder of something that may never happen, of life that isn’t fair, of a beautiful child that might never be.

As Christmas approached, we decided that our daughter deserved complete and utter silence. And yet, that silence seemed impossible for me to give. Because I wanted to hold my baby girl’s hand, and kiss her forehead, and tell her that it didn’t matter, that she was complete, and beautiful, and perfect, all by herself.

But the impossible is exactly what we gave. No one asked. No one offered. My wife and I hugged a lot. Yet Christmas was fun again. More than fun. Our daughter seemed truly happy. The gift of silence had worked. And Christmas morning was perfect, with all of our children and grandchildren sitting in front of the fireplace, everyone opening presents. As my wife unwrapped another gift, I took a moment and studied my daughter’s face. She was beaming, almost glowing it seemed, and I was so proud of what we’d done for her. Inside the box, my wife found a Christmas card, and inside that card was our daughter’s gift—a sonogram of our new grandchild.

So…. What is Christmas? For my wife and I…forevermore…Christmas is life.

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Our wonderful son-in-law caught the moment.

The card:
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Our embarrassing reactions:
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And I mean embarrassing! Check out these close-ups.
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Embarrassing but true, and truth is all a writer really has. So I have to include these ridiculous faces.

Here’s the sonogram that caused those faces:
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Only .71 cm!

And months later we got a wave from our new grandson:
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Like I mentioned above. For us, forevermore… Christmas is life!

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Your next train stop on the indieBRAG Christmas Blog Hop is with Indie author, Martin Crosbie, December 2nd. Just click this link, Martin Crosbie, for your next Yuletide tale.

If you wander off the train, you can always hop back aboard and catch up by going to the indieBRAG home page. Simply click this link, indieBRAG, where you’ll find a message from the indieBRAG Team welcoming you back, as well as the entire Christmas Blog Hop schedule.

Cant’t wait? Still need a bit more holiday cheer today? Check out my September blog entitled Who Needs a Hug? It’s technically not a holiday blog, but it sure made me feel like Christmas came early.

Stream of Consciousness Quote:

“Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.”-Norman Vincent Peale

38 thoughts on “indieBRAG Christmas Blog Hop

  1. Fantastic Blog – I want to call my kids but I promise I wont ask the questions but stay quiet. This is so true and a lesson often so hard to learn.
    Thanks so much for joining us for the indieBRAG Christmas Blog Hop and sharing a bit of your life.
    Best to you and all your readers at this amazing time of year-

    • You are most welcome, Geri. And thank you, and all of those at indieBRAG for supporting the Indie author. Really fun to write something so joyous. Such a great idea, this Christmas Blog Hop. Can’t wait to read the next 30 days!

    • You are so very welcome, Stephanie. And thank you for putting this Christmas Blog Hop together. As Indie authors we spend so much time writing and marketing our novels…it was a wonderful change from all that…such a pleasure to just write for the spirit of the holidays. And how could I not share something so perfectly Christmas. Sorry about the tissues. I forgot to give my wife some tissues before I had her proof my blog. She corrected me on that. But then she kissed me, so it all worked out. 😉

      • Awe. You’re welcome! We have such a great team of people at indieBRAG who loves what they do for readers and authors. Its an honor.

        She sounds like a smart lady!

        It sure is a nice change from all the marketing of books all the time. This gives a reader a chance to connect to the author on a more personal level. Christmas is such a special time of year.

  2. Great blog George….thank you for sharing such special memories!
    I do have to say though, I got a little teary eyed.
    Thanks again for such a warm and heartfelt post.

  3. Thanks for sharing. That was beautiful. However … Who’s ever too old for toys?

    Seriously, though, there is never any better gift than to give your time to someone, even in silence. If your gentle reminder of that is any indication of what’s to come, we’re in for a fantastic hop!

    Thanks again.

    • Never too old for toys. *laughing* Well, my toys are my books and art supplies-I guess you could say.

      I couldn’t agree more! There is never a better gift than to give your time to someone. Amen.

      Yep, this post is a great indication of a fantastic blog hop.

    • LOL…good point…the toys just change. Mine are skis and a mountain bike, but still toys.

      I thought this blog would be fun. Something really great about 31 Indie authors banning together for the Christmas season. So glad I joined in. I can’t wait to read the next 30 blogs.

  4. Thank you for sharing your story. As someone who went through 3 years of trying to have a baby, I know how difficult it can be. The fact that you were able to recognize what your daughter needed most – silence – is a testament to your love for her.

    • Thank you for saying that. Very kind. As a parent you often don’t know what to do. I’m just glad I got that one right. A long, long time ago, I heard it said that parents can make all sorts of mistakes as long as their children know they’re loved. I latched on to that one and held tight!

  5. Your blog touched very close to home. Our four adult children have had their fair share of challenges in their lives, mostly good (thank God), some bad, and one very bad in which our eldest daughter who had had an extremely difficult pregnancy lost her baby girl one week after she was born, just before Christmas. And through it all, the ups and downs, I have learned the hard way that sometimes you need to fight off the temptation to say anything at all, and just love them in silence. Thank you for capturing this thought in such a beautiful and moving way.

    • Thank you, so much, Bob. I know that you know, all to well, the frustrating isolation of parental silence. Sorry for your daughter’s loss…and yours. Even with some who’ve responded to my blog, those mentioning their own struggles with pregnancies, I’m tempted to ask, but then, does my further inquiry merely bring more memories of something best left behind? I don’t know. Perhaps I’ll blog later this month regarding all those who’ve shared a bit of their struggles.

  6. What a touching story….a great start to the Hop! There’s something about knowing how to be a silent parent that makes the ins and outs of families so much gentler and more accepting. It sounds like you and your wife have a very wise handle on your roles in the family, and I’m delighted for all of you that the conclusion of the story was as happy as it is! Congrats to you all and wishes for a wonderful holiday season!

    • Thank you, Lorraine. My mother-in-law is a Lorraine also. A firecracker, she is. Love her. I’m glad I got this Blog Hop off to a good start. I’m over 300 views for my Christmas Blog. So with everyone’s support, that last week could easily bring thousands of views to those late December blogs. I hope so.

  7. What a touching post! I know a person is probably supposed to be most moved by the conclusion, but I was most touched by the sixth paragraph, the gentle, practiced restraint–the abiding parental love. Loved the pics, too.

  8. What a sensitive and beautiful post. I think you and your wife exhibited great understanding, and truth be told, tremendous self-control. Our need to cosset and talk with our kids through the tough times is hard-wired, isn’t it? But your reward speaks for itself. Thank you so much for sharing a heartwarming Christmas story…

  9. Pingback: The indieBRAG Christmas Blog Hop: Christmas Outtakes – Carrie Beckort's Official Website

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