Unto me a child was given

Christmas is especially memorable for me this year because unto to me a child was given. There really is no greater love than the love a mother has for her child. It is overwhelming. Many have tried to describe it but there is no defining the sheer intensity of emotion that somehow finds room in your heart when you have a baby.

It literally takes your breath away to imagine that something bad could happen to the little one, and you might not have the power to prevent it. Such is the life of a mother, swinging from the extremes of perfect love to crippling fear. Talk about a rollercoaster ride.

But as I’ve said over and over, in so many different ways, I wouldn’t swap it for anything. If I never get another gift in my life, for Christmas or otherwise, I’m good.

I wake up to the sweet sound of my daughter cooing and open my eyes to see her face peering over the rim of her cot, smiling winningly as her wee little legs do the bounce. It doesn’t matter what time of day or night it is, it always warms my heart. The smiles between the two of us are always genuine. Between her and I, there is no pretending, and it is the most refreshing thing.

But she can give a pretty mean stone face as well. This is funny, because my own mother used to say that about me as well. Not in those exact words but she would often ask me why I was looking at her “like that”. Directly translated from the vernacular, the question would be, “You’re looking at me how?”

I never did realise the chilling extent of my gaze, until this little one came along. For such a small person, she sure can give Mama some serious daggers. Her frosty stares are usually at their worst in the morning, when I’ve woken her up prematurely for one reason or another. Try as I might, the child will not crack a smile. I guess she’s not a morning person. That’s my excuse in any case, and I’m sticking to it.

Either way, it is fascinating to look into her eyes and see her character developing. It’s like watching a flower emerge from a pile of dirt, sometimes messy but always beautiful. I can already tell that she will be a stubborn one. When she decides on a course of action, the baby is not for turning. If she had a handbag, I would have been thwacked with it quite a number of times, because sometimes she’s just not impressed with my antics and it is written all over her face.

She’s not too fond of being covered in sloppy kisses, even though they are the only ones she knows how to give. So our morning routine is normally a sequence of me trying to kiss her, her pushing me away with both hands, much like a GSU officer would hold back a mob of rioters, me trying to kiss her again, and her giving me the brick face. So yeah, she’s not a morning person. And even if she were, Mama would still be irritating.

The child knows I love her to bits though. She knows that she can pretty much get away with anything. Thank God the things she wants to get away with at this stage are pretty benign, because only He knows what will happen when the little lass becomes a teenager.

I will still be trying to kiss her, and she’ll still be pushing me away, this time wiping her hand across her cheek and going, “Ewww Ma’, that’s like sooo not cool. Please don’t kiss me in public. Like OMG. Ewww.” Then she’ll ask to go to the disco (Or is it the club? Whatever) and I’ll say no. She’ll give me her best stone face, perfected over the years. I’ll try unsuccessfully to get her to smile. And it will be just like old times. Sigh.

It’s hard to imagine that pretty soon the child will learn how to talk and we will have conversations. I can’t wait to hear what her speaking voice will sound like (her screaming-at-the-top-of-her-lungs voice I know only too well). What her perspective on life will be. What her dreams are. I can think of nothing more fascinating than getting to know my child. She means the world to me.

So thank you Baby Jesus for sending me an angel. I am forever grateful.