A Look Back

I just had one of the best Christmases of my whole life. Not perfect, mind you. The Moores are thoroughly imperfect people with a lot of feelings we feel free to share but, thankfully, we’re crazy about each other and crazier about Jesus – which helps tremendously when we’re just plain crazy. Did you get all that? I’d anticipated it as a very special – even once in a lifetime – Christmas because it was our first advent season with a grandchild. Jackson Curtis Jones is a ten month-old blue-eyed bundle of cackling energy on the constant move. Keith, Melissa, and I are drunk with love over the little guy. Amanda and Curt alternate Christmases between his parents in Missouri and our home in Houston and this – Jackson’s first – happened to be our year. I don’t make that remark smugly since I love his other grandmother so much. He’ll be even cuter next year under her tree.

In many ways having this darling grandchild has ushered in a whole new life. I have never experienced a more wonderful season of living. In other ways, I’ve reverted back to one I remember well when some of life’s greatest priorities were teething, immunizations, crawling, and pulling up. When God forbid we miss nap time. Having a baby in the family has made me so nostalgic about the baby girls I held in my own young, inexperienced arms years ago. The nostalgia led to the second reason this was one of my favorite all time Christmases.

About a month ago I crawled to the far side of the attic on a secret mission to retrieve my girls’ baby clothes. Keith was at the hunting lease and it was my first chance to throw myself into a task I’d been planning for weeks. My heart beat with anticipation as I carefully descended the ladder with lawn bags full of memories. With every tiny sleeper and smocked dress that tumbled on the kitchen table, I relived my daughters’ infancies. I washed every garment once and some of them twice. While I starched, ironed and folded them, I was suddenly a mom in my early twenties again, very unsure of my marriage and learning to parent one spell of colic at a time. I loved my baby girls so much. They brought out a desire in me to change, to grow, to be better at life. To know God and teach them to know Him. I laughed and cried with every tender memory and pondered how faithful God had been to such a messed up couple. When Amanda and Melissa would misbehave or fight like they hated each other, my mother always told me, “They’ll be the finest ladies.” And they are.

On Christmas morning, as my grandson squealed with glee from his exer-saucer, I presented his mom and his Aunt Lissy with shadow boxes of childhood memorabilia and long plastic containers each of their baby clothes. Life had come full circle. We have no idea what is ahead. Like all families, we will have sorrows and losses amid daily doses of dirty dishes and dog hair. But when a near-perfect family moment comes, I hope we always choose to take it. To stop long enough to feel it. That’s what I did this year.


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