Often times Christmas letters are one’s own reflection of the past year or two or three years as the case may be. That is a whole different subject of projects well intended.
With reflection it is easy to see the moments where we tripped over the curb running (okay maybe it’s really walking) to the car. Life and its fight against time is truly the reflections and the awareness of where we are or think we should be, or perhaps even could be.
We welcomed Michael Jay into the household in March and we are constantly reminded of our battle with time. From those moments of remembering AJ and his first steps, to Michael’s pouting like Thomas, throwing a fit like Joshua, will be talking before Rebekah, and doesn’t care what “no” means, just like Lucas. MJ gives us daily reflection from another time.
AJ, now sixteen, with a driver’s license doesn’t understand we have the time battle. We know about spinning the tires in the parking lot covered in snow and our lesson is—don’t get caught by us or them. If reading was an Olympic sport, Michael Phillips may have to share some of that Gold. AJ is a very bright boy, perhaps too aware of where he (thinks) could be.
Thomas, fourteen, is as athletic as they get. He took up softball this summer with Joshua and Patty joining him, as they stated, so they could “win” by being on Tommy’s team. More impressive though, as the season wore on, is not the individual hits or catches, but witnessing a group of kids coming together and doing things they didn’t believe they could do. They became teammates and a team and then … yep, just like Hollywood would write it, winners of the championship. JP and PJ enjoyed being part of that team, perhaps enough to go it without Thomas next year.
For two weeks, every December, I get to enjoy having my twins, JP & PJ (Josh & Patty). It’s a great conversation piece during the holiday season. We also “take over” Larsmont Cottages with the December birthdays. There’s just something about being on Lake Superior in an outdoor hot tub as snow flutters from the cold dark skies to wake your senses.
Brittany and Bethany have shown more interest in becoming Mom’s helpers. It is either everyone before them suddenly stopped helping around the house, (which you can never rule out) or taking that interest in candy making or they just awoke one morning and said, “God, today is the day,” and wow that day has come.
Certainly, living in a house with ten children is an experience and many wonder what, but I assure you it is an experience. We watch them grow up while feeling like we’re staying young each and every day.
Tris and Lucas are the upside down boys. Every night we watch their performance of headstands, into handstands, and spin dance moves incorporated into the mix. Tris is never shy to show off the break dance moves Thomas has shown them. Though you may have a hard time getting him to say much more. Our silent Rebekah adds her two cents with jumps and spins, placing her head on the floor and peering at us through her legs looking for congratulations. Reflections is looking at Tris and Lucas and seeing AJ and Thomas, or looking at pictures of AJ and Tom only to discover it is really Tris and Lucas.
Life and its fight against time is truly the reflections and the awareness of where we are or think we should be, perhaps even could be. How true.
For instance people retire from sport, go on to coaching, as noble as that is, while some of us keep playing one more season. Even though we have come to terms with the idea that we will not get to that fly ball, or make it to second base, at least without a break at first. It is then in which we have discovered we may have thought it was about that great catch, the fourteen doubles, and winning a divisional title. It is now that I have an understanding that it is truly that I am where I’m suppose to be, here on a field with a great group of people around me.
It is through reflection we see our challenges throughout the year. Kristi landed in the hospital for nine days in the end of September. Though today she is a million miles since then in recovery, she is still recovering. A challenge of faith, fear, love, and at times anger poured out. You become humbled knowing others are doing for you, which you cannot. Reflecting on the true meaning of the serenity prayer and realizing that wisdom is often learned through trial and error. And discovering the power of prayer from those who surround you with their love.
You know you can feel faith!?
Yes, it is in those moments in which you let others into your space within this world, where they can feel your shoes as they walk in your path. It is in this moment where you feel not only your faith, but by holding the door open you can feel the faith around you. It is in this moment when fear and anger go away. It is in this moment when you see a person that is joyfully alive, dancing, singing, sharing a smile. For that person has truly discovered … we are exactly where we are suppose to be
Our Christmas wish is that we all may find peace in being where we are suppose to be and that in 2009 we will find Joy in allowing it to be the end of battling time.