The Gift of Children
What are you hoping to find this holiday season? An end to fertility treatment with the best gift ever?
Is it a gift that you can unwrap? A gift that you can be surprised and delighted by?
Gifts come in packages that are most unusual and unexpected.
The last several days of warm weather were a gift to me. Yes, I know, they shouldn't have been warm; it's snow season. Does that mean I shouldn't have enjoyed the balminess in the air? Being able to move around outside without being bundled up, without hiding every bit of exposed skin, was a pleasure that I had not anticipated and that I enjoyed thoroughly.
I considered it a gift.
The Meaning of Giving
I'm a word nerd. May be silly, nonetheless, true. Here's the dictionary defintion of gift:
Full Definition of GIFT
1: a notable capacity, talent, or endowment
3: the act, right, or power of giving
In this season, number two pops out at me first. The piece that warms my heart as a reminder of giving in a loving way, is "without compensation".
It's not about what I get back. Or what I get first. It's about what I give or what I receive without "compensation".
Gifts are not all bought and paid for; some are offerings of time and energy. Making food, doing an errand, doing someone else's chore; these are all gifts that cannot be unwrapped yet are enjoyed as meaningful expressions of love.
Did you notice that love is not mentioned in that definition?
Yet, that's what makes a gift most meaningful. The emotion with which it is chosen and delivered and the feelings it evokes in the person who receives it.
Without love, a gift has very little lasting meaning. It's just an object. It's not real, even if it can light up and do all kinds of extraordinary things.
A beloved children's book, The Velveteen Rabbit, says it best:
“Real isn't how you are made,' said the Skin Horse. 'It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.'
'Does it hurt?' asked the Rabbit.
'Sometimes,' said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. 'When you are Real you don't mind being hurt.'
To Become A Parent: Waiting for a Child
For most of you reading this blog, that is the real point, isn't it? What we're hoping for? To become real, become most alive, in the role that we are yearning for: to become a parent.
The real gift would be to love a child in a way that makes us real, in the way that we want to become real. To love so truly and completely that sometimes it even hurts, because we don't mind.
That is the gift many of us are still hoping for; to love a child and to become parents.
Until that happens, we become real in our quest, through our pain and disappointments. You are already real through your love for a child that has yet to be.
So we will wait. Together. For that child.
May you find that gift soon.
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