How do you love them?

I am celebrating Christmas this month, and this blog is about Christmas. If you do not celebrate Christmas, you can skip this blog, or you can read it with the same kind of interest you read about interesting meals from new places.

Christmas makes me think. Mostly, in truth, it makes me think in long lists of things to do and to make and to buy. Sometimes, it also makes me think about the nature of my relationships, and the way boundaries wrap around those relationships to define them and keep them safe. Specifically, I think a lot about who I am in relation to the children I love.

I loved each of my sons before he was born, before I knew how he looked, before he had done anything at all. I loved each of them even more once I got to hold him. Each was inexpressibly precious to me by virtue of being - not even by virtue of being himself (since neither he nor I knew what that meant at first) - just because he was. This is why Jesus arrives as a baby:babies remind us that having been born makes us worth celebrating long before we do or say anything.

As we grew together, I learned that my sons need me to be me, just as I needed them to be themselves. They needed my understanding, but more than this, they needed to understand. They needed me to somehow radiate presence, and in the centred, radiant self they required, I found I could be a deeper self than the tired lady changing diapers and doing endless laundry. For my kids, I could be - just be.

We continued to grow together, and I learned more than I had dreamed or imagined or understood about being myself and being something entirely more - being complete and being completely integrated into this new team that stood together and moved together. My boys and I - and my husband, too - were something together - something more sinewy, more actively united, more vision-led than the word 'family' generally conveys. I was myself and not myself -and so were they.

Christmas makes me think.


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